PCI’s IAS ACCREDITATION
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.
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
choose 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
order for PCI to attain and continue conformance to IAS (AC) 477, PCI has 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.
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).
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.
has provided the following FAQ document for your review:
PCI Plant Certification 2016-17 FAQ
This document answers many of the common questions PCI Clients have
frequently asked PCI in regards to the newly acquired IAS Accreditation.
are summaries of changes in the Program’s Policy and Procedures.
Summary of changes to PCI Plant Certification
changes made to Policy 20 have been drafted in the spirit of IAS and their
requirements for conformance to the ISO 17021 standards.
- All statements pertaining to
Membership have been removed since certification and membership are to remain
- Information for granting, maintaining
and renewing Product Categories has been revised to conform to IAS terminology.
- Detailed information has been added
about nonconformances and how corrective actions will need to be implemented
and proven by objective evidence before granting initial certification.
- Other sections and clauses have been
revised to iterate the requirements for corrective action handling and
follow-up between PCI and the Plant.
- Information about Defect Alerts has
been updated. Note that Defects may be a cause for a Major nonconformance and
additional follow-up actions will be required.
- Audit Schedules have been updated to
reflect the change in Sales Volume dollar amounts.
- Existing Policy sections:
Definitions, program fees, appeals process, and promotion of certification and
logo usage have been updated.
- New Policy information sections on
safeguarding confidentiality, publicly accessible information, and complaints
were added to ensure conflicts of interest are addressed, all participating
plants are treated the same, and proprietary information is protected at all
times during the certification process.
Summary of changes to PCI Plant Certification
of changes to the Program, highlighting new process to close out
Audit Meetings with Plant Representatives
Meeting with the Auditor to discuss the Audit Plan. This is explained more in
detail in the FAQ.
Meeting with the Auditor to discuss the Audit Findings. The plant representatives
whom have attended the closing meeting will be asked to sign an attendance
sheet. This signature is to identify that the plant has understood the
auditor’s findings and will implement necessary corrective or preventive
measures for any nonconformances which were found.
- The plant is not required to agree with the
audit findings. The plant can Appeal Audit Findings through the PCI Appeals
Audit Report – Appendices A & B
now identifies each nonconformance as either a Major or Minor Nonconformance
within the Audit Report. This is explained more in detail in the FAQ.
Process to close out Nonconformances
now requires Plant’s to take corrective and/or preventive actions, and submit
objective evidence along with their Response to Nonconformances, for all
Nonconformances cited on their Audit Report. This is explained more in detail in the FAQ.
Customer Satisfaction Processes
PCI Plant Certification Website has information
about PCI Policies and information about the PCI Appeals and Complaints processes.
can be officially filed with the Director of Quality Programs on the Complaints
- PCI has implemented a formal complaints review
process to validate a complaint. This process ensures that PCI remains
responsive to all complaints received and reasonable efforts must be made to
resolve complaints. The complaint handling process has an appropriate balance
between openness and confidentiality.
Plant Certification Website also has information about program procedures,
actions regarding withdrawn certificates, and certification regulations.
addition to these website updates, a Feedback page has also been added to the
Plant Certification Website. This page houses many forms Producers can utilize
for their own Quality Management Systems; and this page also has the Customer
Satisfaction and Complaint forms available for use by the Producer to submit to
Other program changes
that receive a Defect Alert issued by a PCI Auditor during an audit are
required to undergo additional follow-up actions. Note that Defects may be a
cause for a Major Nonconformity.
Plant’s renewing their PCI Plant Certification, a question has been added to
the PCI Sales Declaration (Fees Computation) Form, regarding the number of
Plant Production Personnel.
PCI Safeguarding Impartiality Committee was established and has held two
meetings. This committee is required by IAS to meet once a year to discuss the
possibilities of conflict of interest and the impartiality of the audit.
- PCI ensures this committee maintains an equal
balance of interested stakeholders to ensure confidence of the management of
the impartiality of PCI’s certification activities.
- PCI also maintains a list of conflicts and
perceived risks; these conflicts and risks are mitigated with controls and that
information is detailed in this report.
Quality Programs Department has implemented continuous monitoring and
measurement of PCI Clients, auditors and staff - this includes client file
inspections, 2nd party audits of the audit organizations, and
internal audits of PCI operations.