The Evaluation Process
Prior to the on-site review meeting, the evaluation team will utilize on-line resources to verify certain elements of your application. This may include (but is not limited to): a basic search that suggests the program does in fact exist. Verification with the Secretary of State of the association’s incorporation. Verification with the IRS of the association’s not-for-profit status. A search of any complaints/issues that have arisen over the years as they relate to the certification program under evaluation.
Then the evaluation team will conduct the on-
An on-site visit is critical to verify that the structures, staff, record retention system, security systems, databases, etc. outlined in the application do in fact exist and are adequate to support the certification program.
Depending on the size and scope of the certification program(s), the team of on-site evaluations will range in size from one to three people, and the process will take from one to two days. During this evaluation, we will ask to meet with key certification personnel, view the infrastructure that supports the certification program, and review any relevant financial or administrative documentation necessary to make an informed decision regarding the administration of the certification program(s).
At the end of the evaluation, the ICAC team will provide the program administrators with their preliminary findings. A more formal document of the team’s evaluation will be provided to the applicant within two weeks of the on-site meeting.
Minor discrepancies observed by the evaluation team may be corrected by the association and corroborated by the evaluation team without requiring that the applicant resubmit their application or pay any additional fees.
The evaluation team has the obligation and the responsibility to determine the seriousness of any discrepancy. Discrepancies determined as severe or major will constitute sufficient justification to recommend a program not be accredited.
All performance criteria are in conformance with the ISO/IEC 17024 2012 Standard.
The evaluation team will present their findings and recommendations to the ICAC Board of Directors at their next scheduled meeting (the Board meets at minimum six times per year).
Assuming your program is approved by the ICAC Board of Directors, you will then be issued a full accreditation package (which includes certificate, logos, documentation, etc) to assist you in making the industry aware that your program has been accredited and meetings the standards outlined in ISO/EC 17024.
If your program application is denied, you will be informed as to the reasons and provided with details on how to resolve the program deficiencies or how to contest the decision of the evaluation team and/or the ICAC Board of Directors.
ICAC accreditation of your certification program is valid for a period of five (5) years. There are, however, ongoing “surveillance” requirements during this period of accreditation that are required under ISO/IEC 17024 to ensure that the program maintains its quality processes during the accreditation period.