What Is PJLA?
Laboratory accreditation uses criteria and procedures specifically developed to determine technical competence. Specialist technical assessors conduct a thorough evaluation of all factors in a lab that affect the production of [testing or calibration] data. The criteria are based on the internationally accepted standard ISO/IEC 17025 (which is used for the evaluation of laboratories throughout the world) and other technical program requirements developed with regulators and specifiers.
Laboratory accreditation bodies use the ISO/IEC 17025 standard specifically to assess factors relevant to a laboratory’s ability to produce precise, accurate tests and calibration data, including:
- Technical competence of staff
- Validity and appropriateness of test methods
- Traceability of measurements and calibrations to national standards
- Suitability, calibration and maintenance of test equipment
- Testing environment
- Sampling, handling and transportation of test items
- Quality assurance of test and calibration data
Laboratory accreditation to ISO/IEC 17025 covers the same quality management system principles that are addressed in ISO 9001 registration. To ensure continued compliance, accredited laboratories are regularly re-assessed to check that they are maintaining their standard of technical expertise. These laboratories are also required to participate in regular proficiency testing programs (where applicable) as an on-going demonstration of their competence.
How does this benefit you as the customer?
You know you are choosing a technically competent lab that has a sound quality system in place.
Avoids expensive retesting
Enhance your customers’ confidence in your product by assuring them that it has been thoroughly evaluated by an independent, competent testing or calibration laboratory that has been assessed by a third party.
Reduce costs and improve acceptance of your goods overseas
Through a system of international agreements (e.g. International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation [ILAC] Mutual Recognition Arrangement), accredited laboratories receive a form of international recognition, which allows their data to be more readily accepted in overseas markets. This recognition helps reduce costs by reducing or eliminating the need for retesting in the import country.
Laboratory accreditation provides formal recognition to competent laboratories, thus providing a ready means for customers to find reliable testing and calibration services able to meet their needs.