STP814: Laboratory Accreditation: More Than Rules

    Harris, R
    Executive Staff Engineer, Manager-Casualty of Chemical Hazards Department, Chief Engineer, Fire Protection Division, Underwriters Laboratories, Northbrook, Ill.

    Castino, TG
    Executive Staff Engineer, Manager-Casualty of Chemical Hazards Department, Chief Engineer, Fire Protection Division, Underwriters Laboratories, Northbrook, Ill.

    Pages: 8    Published: Jan 1983


    Abstract

    Effective accreditation of third-party laboratories offering product evaluation and follow-up inspection services requires a prescription of laboratory performance and measures to assure compliance with the prescription. While documenting the established criteria can be considered the major hurdle for effective laboratory accreditation, the most difficult step may well be assuring that the accredited laboratories meet and maintain desired levels of performance. An effective accreditation program is more than rules: it is evaluation, audit, and follow-up.

    This paper reviews key elements of laboratory accreditation programs that must be considered to achieve the targets that the rules have established. Consideration is also given to the critical elements required by agencies implementing laboratory accreditation programs.

    An analysis of hypothetical programs that lack these critical elements is presented with the purpose of demonstrating that accreditation programs lacking one or more of the critical elements are ineffective and allow laboratory performance to be lowered to a marginally acceptable level.

    Keywords:

    accreditation, laboratories, accrediting agencies, critical elements, follow-up, audit, standards, performance, evaluation


    Paper ID: STP28555S

    Committee/Subcommittee: E36.10

    DOI: 10.1520/STP28555S


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