Our client’s certification program is accredited through the ANSI National Accreditation Board (ANAB). To maintain this accreditation, our client must complete a new application every five years. In addition, one year after each approval, the program is then reviewed as part of the surveillance application process. Our client’s last full application process was in 2021, and we assisted by reviewing and updating the required supporting documentation. Our first surveillance review year passed in 2022, and our goal was to be more involved with the process and to apply the lessons learned from our first year participating.
Some of the lessons learned from the first year included:
- The importance of maintaining accurate records
- Correctly tracking all changes to documents used in the program
- Fully reviewing and understanding the procedures and policy manuals
- Reviewing all logs on a regular basis
- Starting the process earlier
As the first year of surveillance began, we were able to achieve our goal of being more involved in the process. Our assignment was to not only gather the required documents, but to complete the application. Our next goal required that we be very intentional when checking and updating the required logs, making sure that when documents were changed, those changes were logged appropriately, and new version dates were applied. Additionally, the most up-to-date copy of the document would then be moved to the current folder, while older versions were moved to the archives folder.
We also reviewed items that triggered the receipt of a nonconformity notice. We then needed to make sure that the nonconformity was corrected and closed, and that the program was, going forward, managed in such a way as to avoid receiving the same nonconformity notice in the future. This assurance required that we become more familiar with the policies and procedures manuals. When gathering the required documentation, we reviewed each item that we would be using as supporting evidence to make sure that everything was up to date, even updating documents if needed.
As part of the onboarding process, new staff members were required to sign a service agreement and confidentiality statement. Once a staff member signs these agreements, they are then covered with regard to maintaining the ANAB standard as well as certification. We also made sure to add these signed documents to the correct folders. Furthermore, we continued performing the quarterly task of reviewing all required logs and documents to ensure that we were following all ANAB standard requirements. The date of the review was also added to the controlled document log, a critical piece of information that had been missing from the log for our prior review.
Once the application was completed and reviewed by our team, we turned it over to ANAB for the yearly review. The application and documentation review was scheduled for a full day, and included interviews with the staff involved in the certification program. We are pleased to report that, after all the time and effort we put into maintaining the program and supporting documents, not only was our application approved, but no nonconformities were issued to our program this year.
If you are looking for an experienced professional to help with your organization’s initial accreditation or re-accreditation process, contact CAM today! Whether you require more in-depth support or someone to simply make sure all your I’s are dotted and T’s are crossed, CAM is here for you.