In previous blogs, we explored laboratory accreditation and the role of accrediting bodies. Now, we’re going to dive deeper into the importance of accreditation and how it can benefit organizations of all types, including yours.
Accreditation can benefit many kinds of organizations including calibration laboratories, medical laboratories, cannabis testing laboratories, environmental testing laboratories, food and pharmaceutical laboratories, and others. These benefits can range from simply meeting regulatory requirements, to improving the quality of products, services, and test results.
In some cases, laboratory accreditation can be required by regulators for the benefit of consumers. For example, in the state of California, cannabis testing labs are required to be ISO/IEC 17025 accredited to ensure that growers and producers have accurately labeled their products and test below acceptable limits for contaminants.
However, there are many circumstances where laboratories are not required to be accredited; yet they choose to be accredited. In those cases, why would they choose accreditation if it isn’t required of them?
Accreditation can improve an organization’s reputation, be used as a promotional tool, and help manage risk. Whether you’re testing a sample from a patient or testing the food we eat, advertising your accreditation builds trust and boosts confidence in your organization’s test results.
Managing risk is an important part of any organization, laboratory or otherwise. Accreditation can lower risk within your organization by ensuring that your processes are well-documented, methods are validated, and that staff are competent — reducing the risk of producing inaccurate results that could have negative consequences for patients, consumers, or other stakeholders.
Another way accreditation can benefit your organization is by reducing barriers for global trade. International standards equate to international acceptance of test data, saving organizations time and money on inspections and approvals to ship products to multiple countries. With global standards, products and services are globally accepted, regardless of industry or county or origin.
Peer-Evaluated Against ISO/IEC 17011
A2LA is a globally recognized accreditation body, which is peer evaluated by members from other accreditation bodies—a system that ensures consistency and impartiality. While there are differences among accreditation bodies, including certain processes, customer care, and additional regulations, each body assesses labs to the same international standards set forth by experts from around the world.
A2LA is signatory to International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC), International Accreditation Forum (IAF), and Asia Pacific Accreditation Cooperation (APAC). Each of these organizations recognize the same globally accepted criteria, and they determine which organizations can provide accreditation.
Continuous Quality Improvement
Accreditation promotes continuous improvement in laboratory practices, which benefits not only your lab, but your entire industry. Establishing and growing a culture of quality can greatly improve the products, services, and test results laboratories provide to their clients and customers.
So, why should your laboratory be accredited? There are many reasons to become accredited, including increased confidence in your product or service, meeting regulatory requirements, managing risk, reducing barriers to international trade, strengthening a culture of quality, and so much more.
Want to learn more about the benefits of accreditation? Get your “Why Accreditation?” White Paper here!