What does laboratory accreditation mean?
Laboratory accreditation is a globally accepted operation that evaluates a laboratory’s quality, performance, and efficiency. It is evaluating the technical competence of the laboratory for performing particular tests. The authoritative body which does the accreditation is called an accreditation body. The International Accreditation Forum (IAF) and International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC) provide international recognition to accreditation bodies. There are many internationally recognized accreditation bodies approved by the IAF and ILAC. One of the most recognized laboratory accreditation is the NABL Accreditation. The full form for NABL is National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories
What is the purpose of NABL accreditation?
Accreditation is never about who is the best, it is about who aims at maintaining a standard procedure and improving consistently. An accredited laboratory stimulates trust in its customers. The purpose of accreditation is to provide a ready means to its customers to find and opt for reliable testing services to meet their needs. The accreditation body re-evaluates the laboratories periodically to maintain this recognition and to check that all the standards are sustained. To demonstrate technical competence the laboratory would be asked to perform significant proficiency test programs during its reassessments.
What are the standard requirements for NABL accreditation?
The technical competence of the laboratory depends on several factors, some of which are:
– Qualification and experience of staff
All the technical staff should have a graduation in science with chemistry as one of the subjects, or a diploma in chemical engineering or technology. The staff should have experience in the analysis and testing of any particular product. The training in requirements of ISO/IEC 17025 is a must.
– Standard equipments
The equipment used for the tests should be selected appropriately and used accordingly. All the equipment should be verified, maintained, and calibrated as and when needed.
– Sampling practice
The transport of the samples should be done while following the protocol so that they can be traced if needed. Sample handling should be done properly to avoid any type of accident. It should be stored properly to ensure its integrity.
– Valid test methods
Laboratories should always use verified methods of testing. The laboratory head has to take this responsibility to review all the methods and reference values periodically. All the procedures used should be well documented.
In any type of quality system, it is necessary to trace all the actions and documents. Being an accredited body, the quality management system should be executed in a way that all the actions and documents are easily accessible to third-party as and when asked for verification. Labs should adapt evidence-based operations to have transparency and integrity in the system.
– Environmental conditions
Every test has some specific environmental conditions to be maintained for better results. These conditions like air quality, ventilation, temperature, humidity, luminance, noise and vibration levels, radiation, and electromagnetic disturbances should be maintained and recorded so that the quality of work is not compromised.
Whom does accreditation benefit?
Apart from laboratories, there are three groups of people who benefit from accreditation. These three groups are users of lab services, specifiers – people who ask for accurate data, and the public.
- Users have faith and surety that they are getting excellent accuracy or calibration because it has been generated by a technically competent service.
- Government regulators are now very well aware of the importance of accreditation by internationally recognized standards while undertaking to test. Some of the government agencies can not perform the testing themselves and therefore they look for a third-party service provider who can support them. For this purpose, accreditation proves to be a significant basis to find a verified provider.
- Accreditation ensures a higher quality of standards within laboratories which has a good impact on the general public. This maintains consistency in reliable test data to give products of better quality.
Some benefits to the laboratory:
- Recognized on international levels
- Easy access to the global market
- strengthen customer’s trust
- Strong quality management system
- Continuous improvements.
- Guarantee of reliable results
- Money and time-efficient
- Credibility amongst the market and clients
Advantage of accredited laboratories
- It helps us know whether the labs are performing to their standards and provide a benchmark for maintaining that standard.
- It can be used as an effective marketing tool for testing and measuring to submit the tender to contractors who opt for verified labs.
- A laboratory with NABL accreditation is recognized as a reliable service provider and various industries refer accredited laboratories to suppliers.
- The accreditation body reassesses the laboratories from time to time so it helps the laboratories to engage themselves in continuous improvements.
- Accreditation helps laboratories to get recognized in the global market. It helps laboratories to have easy access to the global market and hence increase their reach. It can be said that “tested once, accepted everywhere.”
Procedure for NABL accreditation
Getting accredited is to engage yourself in improving the quality of service with proper documentation and recognition. The first step before starting the procedure is to set up team education on the quality management system. The procedure has to be followed as:
- Laboratory applies for accreditation
- The accreditation body checks the application
- If it meets requirements, the laboratory pays fee/charges
- Requests for pre-assessment
- Pre-assessment report by the assessor or advisory visit
- Laboratory carries out corrective action based on reported non-conformities On-site assessment
- Laboratory carries out corrective action
- Report to the technical committee for approval
- If approved, the accreditation committee informed
- Certificate of accreditation awarded
- The information posted on the website and/or disseminated widely
- Yearly surveillance visit
- Reassessment after 3-5 years
About Suman Chemical Laboratories
Suman Chemical Laboratories is one of India’s foremost providers of analytical testing, research and development service, consultancy services, and best quality laboratory testing services. Suman laboratories have decades of experience in providing accurate and reliable testing analysis. We perform test services based on USP, BP, EP, OR JP in compliance with FDA and DEA guidelines. Our testing services include environmental testing, food testing, textile testing, chemical testing, agricultural testing, and water testing.
Suman Laboratories will soon be recognized by the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF), Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories (NABL), and various state pollution control boards for carrying out environmental services with high quality. We ensure adherence to the laws and standards of food inspection and grading as per the FSSAI food license terms.