Are ICAC’s Accreditation Services Right for Your Certification Program?


What We Do:

Presently, ICAC has chosen to focus its accreditation processes on a fairly narrow band of certification programs available to the general public. These programs typically:

  • certify an individual in a set of skills required within a profession, trade or service.
  • are administered by a neutral, industry body (usually a not-for-profit association).

While the focus is narrow, the numbers are quite large. There are over 7,600 registered national trade associations in the United States, most of which offer some form of industry certification program (and most offer more than one program). Add state and regional trade groups with their associated programs and the number quickly rises into the tens of thousands of certification programs on offer.

These programs are what we typically think of as an individual (or personnel) certification program. Typically an individual must meet some minimum educational/professional requirement, then pass an industry-created examination. There then are certain requirements for that individual to maintain his or her certification for a period of time.

But not all certification programs are created equal. With this in mind, the international standards bodies (specifically the ISO – the International Organization for Standardization and the IEC – the International Electrotechnical Commission) have developed industry norms upon which specific certification programs can be evaluated.

ICAC utilizes the ISO/IEC 17024 Conformity Assessment – General Requirements for Bodies Operating Certification of Persons in our assessment process.

What We Do NOT Do:

ICAC does NOT accredit programs such as:

  • internal company programs (Holiday Inn Gold Star Service Program, for example)
  • product certification (motorcycle helmet manufacture certification, for example)
  • company management system standards (such as ISO 9001 or ISO 14001)
  • process certifications (such as the LEED Building certification)
  • environmental compliance certification (as addressed in the ISO 14000 standards)
  • food safety certification (as addressed in the ISO 22000 standards)
  • event certification (such as ISO 20121 Sustainable Events certification)
  • and any other certifications outside the scope of ISO/IEC 17024