I am often asked “who says exida can certify a product?”  The best answer is of course “the marketplace.”  End user owner/operators ask for an exida certificate because they understand why technical competency is so important when evaluating design quality.  Then instrumentation manufacturers get an exida certificate because exida analysts help them create a safer, more reliable product.  That is the free market at work.  But certification is something people depend on therefore there is an accreditation program for product certifiers. 

Most countries have an “Accreditation Body (AB)” that audits the “Certification Body (CB)” per a particular set of standards and “scheme owner” requirements.  The fundamental standard for a product certification program has been IEC Guide 65/EN45051. A new standard ISO/IEC 17065:2012 is replacing IEC Guide 65.  To meet these standards, a CB must have strong quality procedures with very specific features to ensure impartiality, review, and attestation in any certification decision.

In the United States, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) is the AB appointed by several scheme owners including ISA Security Compliance Institute (ISCI).  ISCI has named ANSI to accredit CBs for the ISASecure scheme.  ANSI is the technical liaison to the IEC and many will recognize that most International Society of Automation (ISA) standards start with ANSI/ISA.

ANSI also provides accreditation for the IEC 61508 family of functional safety standards.  Some US Government agencies operate their own schemes and do their own accreditation.  For example, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has established a scheme for testing electrical shock hazards and fire safety.  OSHA accredits CBs which they call Nationally Recognized Test Laboratories (NRTL)

As exida Certification does functional safety and cyber-security certification, exida is accredited by ANSI as a CB.  So ANSI says exida can do certifications.  And so does the market, as can be seen by looking at the Safety Automation Element List. Many think that is just as, if not even more important. 

Tagged as:     safety automation element list     osha     occupational safety and health administration     isoiec 17065:2012     isci     isa security compliance institute     iec guide 65en45051     iec guide 65     Dr. William Goble     cyber-security certification  

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