Check out the press release to learn more about the launch of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) accreditatation of certificate programs. The governing body (Certificate Accreditation Committee) and assessors have been selected and the Committee has established a plan for pilot testing the program this spring/summer. The Committee also began deliberations on February 13 to select the standard to form the basis of the accreditation program. On that date, representatives from both NOCA and ASTM International were each given an hour to make their case on why their standard should be selected. I had the opportunity to represent ASTM International and its Standard Practice for Certificate Programs at this meeting, and I felt our presentation was convincing. I shared an in-depth comparison of the two standards, and the differences are extensive and crucial. Do not believe it when you hear that the two standards are similar; in the most critical areas, they are NOT.
As follow-up, the Committee sent a list of questions for each organization to answer (related to their criteria for selection). Let me just say that I am impressed with the Committee's deliberations. Throughout this process, they have asked some important and tough questions. This has probably been the most objective and thorough decision-making process I've seen. And for good reason. It's also been very contentious. The Committee knows that their decision may be scrutinized and they need to be able to defend it.
As I understand it, the Committee will reconvene as soon as their schedules allow (in early to mid April) to consider the NOCA and ASTM responses, and hopefully select a standard. But, the possibility remains that they'll need further information. As soon as the standard determination is made, I expect that there will then be a fast transition to pilot testing...as I believe everything is ready and awaiting the standard!
And, as an update on the Standard Practice for Certificate Programs: The standard is in final form (and has been for quite a while) but has not yet been published as an American National Standard. Unfortunately it has gotten caught up in procedural reviews, which I dare not detail (let's leave it at saying the tactics deployed to stall our progress have been unprecedented and unconventional). I'm trusting in karma on this one (as in, you reap what you sow).
As always, I'll update here as I learn more.