The Benefits of Accreditation to Recognized Standards

Government Public Health and Private Environmental Laboratory Partnerships
Oral Presentation

Prepared by

Contact Information: [email protected]; 240-575-7481


ABSTRACT

In the early 80’s fixed laboratories performing testing and calibration activities went through a change in process by implementing accreditation of laboratories and immediately began to see the benefits of this course of action.
Laboratory accreditation is a formal recognition by an authoritative third party of the competence of a laboratory to perform specific tests. It is important to note that independent third-party involvement in assessing laboratory competence focuses on the requirements of ISO/IEC 17025, however; additional program requirements or alternate standards can be assessed as well.
Why Accreditation Partnerships are successful:
• The programs can be tailored to specific industry needs but are based on common international consensus standards
• Partnerships enable varying degrees of oversight by agencies based on their comfort level.
• Partnerships fit seamlessly into the Accreditation Body’s already-established programs while easily catering to specific regulatory needs.
Benefits of Accreditation to the Laboratory:
• Accreditation by a third party provides credibility to the testing community and establishes a level playing field.
• The Accreditation Body’s involvement in the conduct of assessments and the review of assessment outcomes creates and maintains consistency between assessments.
• Accreditation by a third party allows access to experienced, expert assessors who are technically competent in the fields assigned.
• Use of Accreditation Bodies that are signatories to the ILAC Mutual Recognition Arrangement (MRA) provides a high level of confidence in the Accreditation Body’s competence. This confidence is based on the requirement for the Accreditation Body to undergo routine, rigorous peer evaluations against long-standing international standards for assessing quality as well as on the satisfaction of the laboratories themselves.