Flexible Scope of Accreditation for Laboratories

Wide lab empty but well described with a flexible scope of accreditation.

What is a Flexible Scope of Accreditation?

A flexible scope of accreditation is designed to define a laboratory’s competence for the purpose of applying its knowledge, skills, and experience to different activities. The intention here is not to let the limitations of describing the scope determine what is to be accredited, but instead determine and describe what a laboratory is competent to perform.

Benefits of a Flexible Scope of Accreditation

Flexible scopes of accreditation may allow a laboratory to claim accreditation for changes in methodologies or other scope parameters prior to an assessment in accordance with accreditation body procedures. This allows the laboratory a recognized ability to modify methodology or other parameters, validate or verify the changes, and apply them without having to formally make a request to the accreditation body for an extension to its scope of accreditation. However, such modifications to methodology or other scope parameters cannot cover new competencies in a new field of accreditation covered by a different accreditation standard or outside the defined boundaries of the flexible scope.

Features of a Flexible Scope of Accreditation

The term “flexible scope” is not restricted solely to scopes that are flexible in their entirety. It is also relevant to scopes that include a combination of fixed and flexible activities or even for primarily fixed scopes that, for example, include one or two flexible elements.

One of the main features of a flexible scope of accreditation is the way grouped items are described. The grouping of items recognizes common competencies required to perform the conformity assessment activities relating to these items. In some cases, it may be best to define the scope by defined activities. In other cases, it may be better to use the techniques applied and the (technical) field covered by the laboratory. Sometimes, different ways may be combined.

ANAB Laboratory Accreditation

You can learn more about ANAB laboratory accreditation or request a quote here. ANAB accredits calibration and testing laboratories to ISO/IEC 17025:2017, and medical laboratories to ISO 15189, laboratories under the USDA ASCA Pilot program, as well as accreditation to multiple standards and industry-specific programs.

Those seeking laboratory accreditation by ANAB who need aid understanding the necessary requirements for accreditation can register for laboratory-related training offered by ANAB.

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