When sending samples to a laboratory for testing, the reported results can impact what happens next, such as deciding to release a product to the market for sale to consumers. Wouldn’t it be important to know that the testing process was consistent so the results are valid and reliable? Accredited laboratories enhance confidence in reported results by adhering to standards, such as ISO/IEC 17025, so testing results are accurate and trusted.
Why Choose an Accredited Laboratory?
Accredited laboratories follow requirements set by ISO/IEC 17025 for impartiality, method validation and verification, metrological traceability, and management systems to promote competence in operations. This international standard requires the laboratory to implement actions to address risks and opportunities, internal audits, and management reviews to increase effectiveness, as well. Accredited laboratories exhibit specific qualities through adherence to the ISO/IEC 17025 requirements.
Qualities of a Trusted Laboratory
Impartiality minimizes possible pressures that can change or affect results of testing. Accredited laboratories continuously evaluate possible risks to impartiality by looking at activities or relationships that could compromise impartiality. If there is a situation where a risk to impartiality exists, the laboratory is able to show how it eliminates or minimizes this risk.
The laboratory is responsible for all information obtained or created during laboratory activities. Except for information that the customer makes publicly available or when it is agreed between the laboratory and the customer, all other information is regarded as confidential. Discretion and confidentiality are pertinent not only from a legal aspect, but to establish and maintain trust with clients.
Accredited laboratories have the personnel, facilities, equipment, and services necessary to manage and perform its activities. Personnel act impartially, work competently, and follow the laboratory’s management system. Facilities are be suitable for the laboratory activities and do not adversely affect the validity of results. The laboratory will also have access to equipment that is required for laboratory activities that is verified to conform to specified requirements.
Accredited laboratories have a procedure in place for the review of requests and contracts. The process ensures that the requirements of the customer are adequately defined and understood and that the laboratory has the capability and resources to meet those requirements. Accredited laboratories have clear communication with the customer and inform them if there needs to be any changes or if the method requested is unsuitable. The laboratory also has specified procedures for sampling, record control, and ensuring the validity of the results. The results are provided accurately and objectively on controlled test reports.
Which Laboratories Are Accredited By ANAB?
Laboratories that possess these qualities, in combination with requirements set by ANAB and the applicable accreditation standard, show leadership and proactivity by demonstrating competence and ensuring the validity of results. Accreditation ensures the laboratory’s ability to produce precise, accurate data. Accreditation helps move the laboratory towards global recognition, consistent operations, and a competitive advantage.
You can find laboratories accredited by ANAB in the online directory.