If you are a mad scientist and want to merge the genes that determine technical incompetence with those governing a complete lack of self-awareness, then look no further than ANAB’s latest ad campaign for its “4-3-3 Conformity Assessment Paradigm™” training program. What unfolds is a bizarre rabbit hole of links culminating in a 45-minute ad that goes, literally, nowhere.

First, let’s unpack what we know about ANAB’s 4-3-3 Conformity Assessment Paradigm™.  Apparently, ANAB has cracked the case on … well, something related to conformity assessment. It is never made clear what the numbers “4-3-3” refer to, and only that this “paradigm” (their embarrassing word, not mine) will somehow enable you to “understand conformity assessment in any situation and from any point of view regardless of the situational minutia.”

If you thought these idiots were already bungling things by using the term “situational minutia” while pitching something that is supposed to make things easy to understand, you ain’t seen nothing yet.

Over on Elon Musk’s White Supremacist Hellscape ANAB’s parent company, ANSI, tweeted out a link promoting the 4-3-3 Conformity Assessment Paradigm™:

And so the journey began. Clicking on the blog link took me to an article written by ANAB’s Keith Mowry, Senior Manager of Accreditation and Product Certification, and lover of words like “paradigm” and “minutia”:

In that article — which is over 700 words long — we still don’t learn what “4-3-3” stands for, but are told it has something to do with terminology used during audits. Or something.

We do learn, however, that the “4-3-3 Conformity Assessment Paradigm™ isn’t something ANAB dreamed up alone. It comes right out of information that has nearly 20 years of consensus in the international conformity assessment community,” yet they keep putting the trademark symbol on it anyway. Hey, did ANAB just admit to trademarking previously existing information that was developed by someone else? I dunno, but that sounds like ANAB.

So after reading the tweet and the 700+ article, what’s next? The blog takes us to another page, for registering for the webinar. The first thing that popped up to me, however, was that the webinar had already been given weeks ago, and ANAB didn’t update the page. But they did add a link to a YouTube video of the webinar.

Following the rabbit hole further, I went to YouTube to watch Mowry’s video. Here, I learned that “terminology is fun“, sure, but also that this was totally not the 4-3-3 training webinar itself, but a 45-minute ad to get you to register for the actual course.

Let that sink in for a second. ANAB thinks people watch 45-minute ads. 

Then, showing off its technical prowess even more, somewhere buried at around the 26-minute mark, Mowry buries a link in the slide to where you can actually go to register for the course. In the voiceover, Mowry says he will put the link “in the chat box” which only makes sense to the dupes who actually attended the webinar ad when it was live. Does ANAB then put the link in the comments section of the YouTube video? Of course not!

So you have to freezeframe the video and manually type out the URL address to register for their course. I guess ANAB figures that if you’ve already lost an hour or more on this rabbit hole, you’ll be so stuck in the sunk-cost fallacy you’ll do anything to get it over with, already.

So… we’re at the end of the journey. We’ve read a tweet, followed by a 700-word blog post, followed by a 45-minute ad, and we’ve manually transcribed a URL from a freeze frame. At no point has ANAB ever explained what “4-3-3” means, nor really told us what this training will do, but it’s nearly over. We can finally register for the course, and learn this elusive art that ANAB wants to teach us.


Because this is what pops up when you visit the link:

At this point, I don’t think ANAB is really an accreditation body, but a collective of supervillains living in a volcano, trolling the entire planet with pure-evil shenanigans like this, in order to drive us mad and bring about the end of the world.

Or they are wholly and hilariously incompetent. You pick.

About Christopher Paris

Christopher Paris is the founder and VP Operations of Oxebridge. He has over 30 years' experience implementing ISO 9001 and AS9100 systems, and is a vocal advocate for the development and use of standards from the point of view of actual users. He is the author of Surviving ISO 9001 and Surviving AS9100. He reviews wines for the irreverent wine blog, Winepisser.


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