Not the Big Easy: The NELAC Institute's (TNI) Journey to Recognize Non-Government Accreditation Bodies (NGABs)

Operational and Advocacy Issues Impacting the Environmental Laboratory Industry
Oral Presentation

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In June 2010, The NELAC Institute (TNI) formed a task force to explore ways to assist state government accreditation bodies (ABs) feeling the aftermaths of the 2008 economic crisis on their budgets, and specifically, provide options to improve the ability of ABs to comply with the requirements of the TNI Standard.

In a report issued in June 2011, the TNI AB Task Force made a series of recommendations, one of them, advising developing a process to allow NGABs to offer laboratory accreditations that could be accepted by government ABs. Seven years after the formation of the TNI AB Task Force, TNI recognized three NGABs to accredit laboratories to the TNI Standard.

This paper will describe the process TNI followed to become a recognizer of NGABs, the lessons learned along the way, the status of NGAB current accreditation activities, and options TNI is considering for NGAB recognition in the future.