After several years of preparatory work by both PCI committee members and staff, PCI has achieved accreditation from the International Accreditation Service (IAS), which provides objective evidence that an organization operates at the highest level of ethical, legal and technical standards. IAS is a subsidiary of the International Code Council (ICC), a professional membership association that develops the construction codes and standards used by most municipalities within the United States.
The current scope of PCI's IAS accreditation is the PCI Plant Certification Program, which is managed in accordance with IAS Accreditation Criteria (AC) 477 (see: http://iasonline.org/MSCB/) and ISO/IEC 17021 Conformity assessment – Requirements for bodies providing audit and certification of management systems.
Accreditation is a formal, independent verification that a program or institution meets established quality standards and is competent to carry out specific conformity assessment tasks. IAS is a nonprofit, public-benefit corporation that has been providing accreditation services since 1975. IAS accredits a wide range of companies and organizations including governmental entities, commercial businesses, and professional associations.
PCI chose IAS Accreditation because PCI wants to be sure that PCI-Certified Plants are getting the most benefit possible from their PCI certification since PCI-Certified Plants devote significant resources to maintain their certification.
In order for PCI to maintain conformance to IAS (AC) 477, PCI made several improvements to the Plant Certification Program. To do so, the PCI Quality Programs Department, which manages the Plant Certification Program, has made several internal process and system improvements too.
PCI Policy Statement 20.0, Plant Certification Program, which is the governing document for the program has been revised to reflect best practices according to industry standards for Management System Certification Bodies (MSCB).
Also, PCI’s Quality Programs Department has written its own internal Quality Management System Manual, just like the Plant’s QSM, for detailing PCI’s structure of its policies and procedures which relate to its management system certification activities. PCI’s Quality Manual exceeds industry standards and ensures consistent and accurate handling and results for PCI’s internal processing of certification records. This in return ensures no bias exists when making certification decisions and that customer satisfaction is maintained.