Scope Of Accreditation
Importance Of Accreditation
National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories (NABL) is an autonomous body under the aegis of Department of Science & Technology, Government of India, and is registered under the Societies Act. NABL has been established with the objective to provide Government, Industry Associations and Industry in general with a scheme for third-party assessment of the quality and technical competence of testing and calibration laboratories. Government of India has authorised NABL as the sole accreditation body for Testing and Calibration laboratories.
In order to achieve this objective, NABL provides laboratory accreditation services to laboratories that are performing tests / calibrations in accordance with ISO/IEC 17025:2005 and ISO 15189:2007 for medical laboratories. These services are offered in a non-discriminatory manner and are accessible to all testing and calibration laboratories in India and abroad, regardless of their ownership, legal status, size and degree of independence.
NABL maintains its linkages with the international bodies like International Laboratory Accreditation Co-operation (ILAC) and Asia Pacific Laboratory Accreditation Co-operation (APLAC). NABL is a full member of both ILAC and APLAC. NABL is a signatory to ILAC as well as APLAC Mutual Recognition Arrangements (MRA), which is based on mutual evaluation and acceptance of other MRA Partner laboratory accreditation systems. Such international arrangements facilitate acceptance of test / calibration results between countries to which MRA partners represent.
In order to achieve the objective of the acceptance of test / calibration data across the national borders, NABL operates and is committed to update its laboratory accreditation system as per international norms. Current NABL criteria for Laboratory Accreditation is ISO/IEC 17025 standard for testing and calibration laboratories and ISO 15189:2003 for medical laboratories.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is NABL ?
NABL stands for National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories. It is governed by Quality Council of India. The Headquarters of NABL Secretariat is in New Delhi. ISO/IEC 17025 is the standard for testing and calibration laboratories.
What is Accreditation?
Accreditation is a procedure by which an authoritative body (NABL) gives formal recognition that a laboratory or a person (Signatory) is competent to carry out specific tasks (Scope).
NABL is signatory to the following international bodies by Mutual Recognition Arrangement (MRA)
– ILAC (International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation)
– APLAC (Asia Pacific Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation)
Such arrangement facilitates acceptance of test/calibration results between countries to which MRA partners are signatories.
International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation
It is an international cooperation between the various laboratory accreditation schemes operated throughout the world. ILAC was formalized as cooperation in 1996 when 44 national bodies signed a Memorandum of Understanding.
Asia Pacific Laboratory Accreditation Co-operation
APLAC is an organization of government recognized laboratory accreditation bodies from 16 member economies in the Pacific rim area. The organization promotes the acceptance of laboratory data and test results generated by laboratories in the region by fostering performance to harmonized operational requirements.
Key benefits and advantages of NABL accreditation
- Assures the client that the procedures and test results of the Laboratory are technically valid.
- Recognizes the technical competence of the laboratory staff.
- Endorses that the laboratory operates management systems Effectively.
- Ensures improvement in quality with compliance to ISO requirements.
- Improvement in efficiency and effectiveness of lab measurement programs.
- Provision of state-of-the-art analysis techniques and software.
Does NABL follow any ISO guidelines?
NABL follows ISO/IEC 17025, which is specific ISO followed world wide for testing and calibration laboratories. This standard is used by APLAC (Asia Pacific Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation) and ILAC (International Laboratory Accreditation Co-operation) etc. This means that an NABL accredited laboratory in India follows the same guidelines as any other accredited laboratory in the world.
What is the difference between ISO certification and NABL accreditation?
NABL accreditation is based on evaluation of technical competence whereas ISO certification is based upon verification of proper documentation. Though documentation forms an essential and important part of NABL, it lays down great emphasis on quality and the lab can be denied accreditation if one does not comply with the quality standards.
ISO/IEC 17025 Accreditation Resources
Accreditation is defined as a procedure by which an authoritative body gives formal recognition that a laboratory is competent to perform specific tasks. Lab accreditation recognizes a lab’s technical capability and is usually specific for tests of the systems, products, components, or materials for which the lab claims proficiency. Accreditation allows a lab to determine whether it is performing its work correctly and according to appropriate standards. This does not guarantee that a given analytical result is correct, but it does establish standards that must by met and a framework approach to detect nonconformities when they occur. Good labs will have defensible results, but accreditation means that the results are defensible to a recognized standard that does not change when lab personnel or circumstances change.
The aims of ISO 17025 are to :
- Provide a basis for use by accreditation bodies in assessing the competence of laboratories.
- Establish general requirements for demonstrating lab compliance to perform specific tests or calibrations.
- Assist in the development and implementation of a lab’s quality system.