ARLINGTON, Va. - The Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) will begin using a new unified mark to identify heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and commercial refrigeration products that have achieved third-party certification of their performance ratings. The new mark will replace the ARI Performance Certified, GAMA Efficiency Rating Certified, and I=B=R marks. According to AHRI, however, these changes will be made according to an implementation schedule that provides enough time to bring all certification programs into compliance with internationally recognized accreditations.
AHRI’s executive committee recently approved use of the new phrase, AHRI Certified™, and a new unified mark.
“Unifying the industry’s product certification programs with one mark representing third-party verification of HVACR equipment and component performance ratings, will allow us to leverage our marketing dollars to enhance marketplace recognition of the new mark and its value,” said AHRI President Stephen Yurek.
While the new mark and brand usage guidelines will be available to manufacturers participating in AHRI’s certification programs in mid-April, not all participants will be able to apply the new mark immediately. I=B=R and GAMA Efficiency Rating Certified program participants will have to wait until their programs enter the scope of AHRI’s accreditation by the Standards Council of Canada (SCC). Every year, the SCC audits several AHRI programs to ensure that they comply with International Organization for Standardization Guide 65 (ISO-65), which is the internationally accepted quality standard for organizations managing certification programs. Earning SCC accreditation allows certified equipment bearing the new AHRI Certified™ mark to be imported to Canada.
“This audit is important because it recognizes changes have been made to the certification programs to bring them into compliance with ISO-65,” said Yurek. “The former ARI Performance Certified programs already meet ISO-65 guidelines and are SCC accredited.”
For this reason, ARI Performance Certified program participants can begin applying the new logo immediately, although they have until Jan. 1, 2011 to transition to the new mark.
The following dates are other key deadlines and events in the transition to the new mark.
•April 20, 2009:New certification mark and brand usage manual available for use by the former ARI Performance Certified program participants.
•November 2009 to December 2009:SCC audits AHRI annually to confirm its compliance with ISO-65. This year, SCC also will be considering whether to extend the scope of AHRI’s SCC accreditation to include the furnace and boiler certification programs.
•Jan. 1, 2010 to Jan. 1, 2012:Transition period for harmonizing the governing documents for former I=B=R and GAMA certification programs to meet AHRI’s ISO-65 quality system requirements.
•Jan. 1, 2011:Former ARI Performance Certified program participants must apply the new mark by this date.
•Jan. 1, 2012:Former I=B=R and GAMA Efficiency Rating Certified program participants must apply the new mark by this date.
For more information, visit www.ahrinet.org.