ANSI accreditation to support smart grid testing, certification framework

New York City, January 24, 2012 — The American National Standards Institute (ANSI), coordinator of the U.S. standards and conformity assessment system, is playing a role in the national push for a reliable and interoperable smart grid for the U.S.

Ranking among the Obama administration's top priorities for the nation, the smart grid is a planned nationwide network that integrates information and communication technologies, enabling two-way flows of energy and communications to deliver electricity efficiently, reliably and securely.

Taking the next step forward in the grid's development, the Smart Grid Interoperability Panel (SGIP) — a joint effort of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the private sector — released version 2.0 of the testing and certification framework for the North American electric power industry.

Developed with input from ANSI, the framework lays out a plan to enhance the quality of secure and interoperable smart grid products and reduce their installation cost in the smart grid.

The Interoperability Process Reference Manual details processes and procedures for increasing market confidence in products through testing and certification, especially third-party assessment services providing quality assurance to purchasing organizations.

As the first U.S. signatory to the International Accreditation Forum Multilateral Recognition Arrangement for product certification, ANSI has committed to support the implementation of the IPRM Framework as an internationally recognized accrediting organization.

ANSI accreditation offers a formal, third-party process for review and recognition of certification programs. The international standard, ISO/IEC Guide 65, General requirements for bodies operating product certification systems, forms the cornerstone of ANSI's accreditation process for product certification programs.

ACLASS, a unit of the ANSI-ASQ National Accreditation Board, will also support implementation of the IPRM as an accreditor of testing and calibration laboratories against ISO/IEC 17025, General requirements for the competence of testing and calibration laboratories. The ANSI-ASQ National Accreditation Board is a member of the IAF and the International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation, and is a signatory of the IAF and ILAC multilateral recognition arrangements.

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