ANAB President John Knappenberger will resign shortly, and staff within the US accreditation body are preparing for a sendoff party, according to sources.

Oxebridge originally reported that Knappenberger was set to resign in 2016, according to leaked information from two ANAB auditors, but subsequently held on as ANAB struggled to find a replacement. Now, however, Knappenberger’s resignation is in full swing, with members of the International Association of Accredited Registrars (IAAR), a US-based certification body collective, planning a farewell event, according to emails obtained by Oxebridge.

Knappenberger leaves behind a badly bruised ANAB, as it faces increasing scrutiny for its role in allowing accredited ISO 9001, AS9100 and other certifications to be handed out to companies later found involved in deadly scandals, disasters or recalls. The ANAB logo has been found on certificates given to companies involved in the Takata airbag deaths, the US Dept. of Defense aerospace quality system debacles, defective products sold to law enforcement and military personnel, adulterated medical devices discovered by the FDA, and numerous scandals involving falsified inspection and test data.

The company is facing new challenges as Oxebridge provides more and more data to government regulators on the roles of ANAB and its two co-owner organizations, ASQ and ANSI, in the scandals and related product fatalities. As an original founding member of the IAF, ANAB — previously known as RAB — helped sell the world’s governments and the World Trade Organization on the idea that third-party accredited certifications would be more trustworthy than either government led audits, or those done by second party customers. That vision has all but collapsed, with evidence pouring in that ANAB overlooks accreditation violations by its CB members in order to ensure CBs do not switch to a competing accreditation body such as UKAS or SCC.

Knappenberger maintained a pro-CB posture originally established by his predecessor Robert King, but expanded it. Under Knappenberger, CBs reported that ANAB’s favoritism towards some of its CB worsened, while ANAB “selectively enforced” its policies against CBs for which it had problems. This led smaller CBs to allege that ANAB was working to help its larger clients consolidate the industry by breaking up competitors, freeing clients up for absorption by a handful of larger firms with greater influence.

Knappenberger also oversaw the “move to one brand” marketing shuffle wherein A-CLASS and Laboratory Accreditation Board (L-A-B) were all brought under the ANAB logo. The arrangement creates complicated conflicts where, in cases where a client has both ISO 9001 and ISO 17025, ANAB would be acting as both the certifier of the laboratory management system as well as the accreditor of the associated CB.

Knappenberger fumbled awkwardly trying to use youthful jargon in a presentation to the US TAG committee responsible for authoring the ISO 9001 standard. Insiders reported his expertise was more in simple corporate management and not branding, although the organization has grown under his leadership through his pursuit of acquisitions of competitors.

This marks the second high-level departure for long-time ANAB staffers, with certification scheme architect Randy Daughterty having resigned a VP slot with the company a few years ago.

Currently, it’s not known who will be replacing Knappenberger as ANAB President.