Building Department Accreditation
Increasingly, the public recognizes the important role of building departments in ensuring public safety. The fine work of building departments is evidenced by the outstanding safety record of buildings in the U.S. as compared to buildings elsewhere in the world. Awareness of the importance of their role has induced U.S. building departments to seek a way to demonstrate their competence, professional qualifications and ability to serve their jurisdictions.
IAS facilitates recognition of building departments through the Building Department Accreditation Program. IAS offers independent verification that the building department operates under the highest ethical, legal and technical standards. It is IAS’s goal to enhance the services of the building departments that provide life-safety and property protection for communities across the United States.
The criteria used to assess building departments pursuing accreditation is IAS Accreditation Criteria for Building Departments (AC251). The criteria used to assess building departments in British Colombia, Canada pursuing accreditation is IAS Accreditation Criteria for Building Departments in British Columbia, Canada (AC475).
Calibration is the basis for ensuring accurate and consistent measurements. Calibration relies on people, who must be qualified to perform the calibration. IAS accreditation provides an independent verification of the technical competence of the people and the effectiveness of the quality management system, of the calibration provider.
IAS accredits calibration providers to the international standard ANS/ISO/IEC Standard 17025:2005, General Requirements for the Competence of Testing and Calibration Laboratories, through a rigorous process that includes direct observation by qualified assessors of technical expertise.
The criteria used to assess calibration laboratories pursuing accreditation is IAS Accreditation Criteria for Calibration Laboratories (AC204).
Curriculum Development Accreditation (QP Curriculum)
IAS accredits organizations that develop the curricula for construction-related vocational training programs. Highly qualified workers in the construction crafts achieve their knowledge, skills and credentials through the right combination of work experience, participation in high-quality training programs, and certification and licensing in their craft from a recognized authority. At the center of quality construction training programs are those organizations that develop the curricula that are used to train the work force. Curriculum developers now have access to an accreditation program that can independently assess the delivery and content of their programs against standards based on best practices of the industry.
The criteria used to assess curriculum development programs pursuing accreditation is IAS Accreditation Criteria for Curriculum Development (AC372).
During the course of construction, some types of work are so critical to safeguarding public welfare that the building code requires special inspections. Structural welding, reinforcing concrete and high-strength bolting are examples of the types of work that are subject to special inspections by inspectors who have demonstrated their competence.
When these types of work are to be performed at a fabrication facility that is not on the construction site, IAS provides a service to the building official by accrediting the fabricator's own internal quality system and inspection practices. IAS accreditation provides assurance to the building official that the fabrication facility has been evaluated in accordance with Section 1701.7 of the Uniform Building CodeTM and Section 1704.2.2 of the International Building Code®.
The criteria used to assess fabricator inspection programs for reinforced concrete is IAS Accreditation Criteria for Fabricator Inspection Programs for Reinforced Concrete (AC157). The criteria used to assess fabricator inspection programs for structural streel is IAS Accreditation Criteria for Fabricator Inspection Programs for Structural Steel (AC172). The criteria used to assess fabricator inspection programs for wood wall panels is IAS Accreditation Criteria for Fabricator Inspection Programs for Wood Wall Panels (AC196).
Field Evaluation Body
In response to requests from IAS-accredited testing laboratories, inspection agencies and authorities having jurisdiction (AHJs), IAS developed an accreditation program for the field evaluation of unlisted electrical equipment. The program is designed to formalize an accreditation process for agencies conducting evaluations of electrical equipment. The request for these types of evaluations usually comes from a building department, code enforcement official, fire marshal or similar regulatory body. The request for field evaluation is primarily to determine compliance with applicable codes or standards of one-of-a-kind, limited production, used or modified products that are not listed or labeled under a full listing or certification program. The evaluation process may be completed at the point of manufacture, interim points of distribution, in the evaluating organization's facilities, in situ or a combination of the above.
The criteria used to assess field evaluation bodies pursuing accreditation is IAS Accreditation Criteria for Field Evaluation of Unlisted Electrical Equipment (AC354).
Fire Prevention And Life Safety Department
IAS Accreditation conveys formal recognition that governmental fire prevention and life safety departments have demonstrated the technical and administrative competence to implement an effective and equitable system of code enforcement.
The criteria used to assess fire prevention and life safety departments pursuing accreditation is IAS Accreditation Criteria for Fire Prevention & Life Safety Departments (AC426).
The criteria covers such services as code administration, plan review, and inspection.
The IAS inspection agency program is based on international standard ISO/IEC 17020. Accreditation by IAS indicates that inspection agencies meet the highest quality standards.
The inspection agency accreditation program begins with a review of the agency's quality systems manual. Then, an on-site assessment is conducted at the agency's office. Here, IAS assessors review records and the agency's quality system and interview members of the agency's staff. In addition, a technical field assessment is also conducted, by one or more technical assessors, to evaluate the agency's technical competence. Continual evaluation of the agency's quality system is done through periodic surveillance assessments, and through follow-up visits that keep the accreditation in good standing.
The criteria used to assess calibration laboratories pursuing accreditation is IAS Accreditation Criteria for Inspection Agencies (AC98).
Management Systems Certification Body
IAS offers accreditation for Management System (MS) Certification Bodies (CB) based on ISO/IEC 17021: Conformity assessment – Requirements for bodies providing audit and certification of management systems in the areas of quality management systems, environmental management systems, food safety management systems and information security management systems. Additional disciplines will be added, as required.
The objective for this accreditation program is to promote and provide confidence to industry sectors, consumers and regulators through the IAS conformity assessment and accreditation infrastructure. This accreditation will have a major impact on ensuring safe and quality products including services for consumers coming from IAS-accredited, competent certification bodies and their certified organizations.
The criteria used to assess calibration laboratories pursuing accreditation is IAS Accreditation Criteria for Management System Certification Bodies (AC477).
Metal Building Assemblers
IAS offers accreditation to qualified inspection programs operated by assemblers of metal building systems. As a voluntary accreditation program, contractors and building erectors will benefit by establishing inspection processes and assembly procedures to help ensure that their work complies with construction documents and code requirements.
The criteria used to assess metal building assemblers pursuing accreditation is Accreditation Criteria for Inspection Practices of Metal Building Assemblers (AC478).
A key part of the accreditation involves documenting and implementing a management system specific to each company’s assembly processes that includes internal safety and training programs and periodic jobsite inspections to verify compliance with AC478.
Metal Building Inspection
The IAS Inspection Program for Manufacturers of Metal Building Systems is a comprehensive accreditation program based on the requirements of Chapter 17 of the International Building Code® (IBC).
The criteria used to assess manufacturers pursuing accreditation is IAS Accreditation Criteria for Inspection Programs for Manufacturers of Metal Building Systems (AC472).
The criteria has three parts. Part A covers fabrication of structural weldments and cold-formed products requiring welding; Part B covers fabrication of cold-formed products not requiring welding; and Part C deals with the design of metal buildings.
The inspection program outlined in AC472 addresses quality management system elements such as personnel requirements, product traceability, process control, and various administrative and technical requirements.
The criteria covers all metal building system elements that are essential for code officials, architects, specifiers and contractors to confidently design, specify, build or approve, IAS-accredited fabricators of metal buildings.
Personnel Certification Body
IAS offers accreditation of organizations that certify personnel based on their professional competency. The IAS program is based on ISO/IEC Standard 17024 General requirements for bodies operating certification of persons. IAS’ international scope and perspective tailors its accreditation programs to serve national and international needs of governmental regulatory bodies and diverse industries concerned with personnel competency using uniform standards and best practices.
IAS operates accreditation programs under internationally recognized protocols that comply with ISO/IEC Standard 17011 Conformity Assessment – General requirements for accreditation bodies accrediting conformity assessment bodies. As a full member and signatory to the multilateral recognition arrangements (MLAs) of the Pacific Accreditation Cooperation and the International Accreditation Forum, IAS can assure international recognition of its accreditations.
The criteria used to assess personnel certification bodies pursuing accreditation is IAS Accreditation Criteria for Personnel Certification Bodies (AC474).
Product Certification Agency
IAS-accredited certification agencies demonstrate to the marketplace and to regulators that their certification practices, including testing, inspection, product surveillance and product labeling, have been properly evaluated and are under a program of continual monitoring by an internationally recognized accreditation body. Testing and inspection are the mainstays of product certification. IAS's 30+ years of experience in accrediting competent laboratories and inspection agencies guarantees you an experienced team of professionals to help guide you through the accreditation process.
IAS accredits product certification agencies under ISO/IEC Guide 65, General Requirements for Bodies Operating Product Certification Systems.
The criteria used to assess product certification agencies pursuing accreditation is IAS Accreditation Criteria for Product Certification Agencies (AC370).
Special Inspection Agency (International Building Code)
The IAS Special Inspection Agency Accreditation Program is primarily based on the requirements of Chapter 17 of the International Building Code (IBC) and the applicable portions of ISO/IEC 17020, General Requirements for the Operation of Various Bodies Performing Inspection. The program requires special inspection agencies to operate under a quality system that is documented in a manual, and also requires the agency to be assessed in the field to determine if it is competent to perform specific inspections or types of inspections.
The criteria used to assess special inspection agencies pursuing accreditation is IAS Accreditation Criteria for Special Inspection Agencies (AC291).
Laboratory accreditation and uniform testing requirements help minimize technical barriers to trade and reduce the financial burden on manufacturers. Almost any evaluation of a product, material or piece of equipment is based on reports from accredited testing laboratories that are, in turn, supported by accredited calibration laboratories. IAS accreditation provides assurance that the services rendered by accredited laboratories are of good quality and have been evaluated and proven.
The IAS laboratory accreditation program is modeled on the international standard ANS/ISO/IEC Standard 17025:2005, General Requirements for the Competence of Testing and Calibration Laboratories.
The criteria used to assess testing laboratories pursuing accreditation is IAS Accreditation Criteria for Testing Laboratories (AC89).
Third Party Building Service Provider
As budgets tighten and workloads increase for city and county governments, more municipalities have contracted with private-sector firms to administer permitting, plan review and inspection services related to building safety. IAS provides accreditation to independent providers of building department services based on quality management principles and best practices, to ensure that the outstanding safety record of buildings in the U.S., as compared to buildings elsewhere in the world, is maintained.
The criteria used to assess building department service providers pursuing accreditation is IAS Accreditation Criteria For Third-Party Permitting, Plan Review And Inspection Service Providers (AC402). AC402 outlines requirements for the accreditation of third-party nongovernmental providers of building department services and thus recognizes the important role that private firms play in ensuring public safety.
Training Agency Accreditation (QP Training)
The IAS Program for Work Force Training Agencies verifies that agencies are competent, that their trainers are qualified and that the curricula meet nationally recognized standards. During the accreditation process, IAS assessors evaluate the corporate organization, facilities, staffing, curriculum, product development and administration. The IAS accreditation program is the first of its kind to consider, concurrently, the needs of the construction crafts, contractors and construction regulators. The IAS approach aims to ensure that accredited training programs prepare students to be efficient, competent workers who are able to provide high-quality construction that meets the requirements of building codes.
The criteria used to assess training agencies pursuing accreditation is IAS Accreditation Criteria for Training Agencies (AC371).