The Benefits of Accreditation to Recognized Standards

Oral Presentation

Prepared by C. Gunning
A2LA, 5202 Presidents Court, Suite 220, Frederick, MD, 21703, United States


Contact Information: cgunning@A2LA.org; 240-575-7481


ABSTRACT

In the early 80s 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 Bodys 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 Bodys 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 Bodys 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.