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Laboratory accreditation provides advantages both to laboratories and users or potential users of laboratory services. Laboratories benefit by receiving national and international recognition of their competence and qualifications, by using the evaluation process as a quality assurance feature (for example, an independent audit), and by saving both time and money through the possible elimination of multiple audits from many potential clients.
Users of laboratory services benefit by having an independent objective means to select a laboratory for the required services, an easy way to provide specifications for laboratory services, and a savings in both time and money by not having to perform extensive evaluations on their own.
These advantages are realized only when a highly credible laboratory accreditation system is providing the service.
accreditation, assessment, competence, evaluation, laboratory, NVLAP, testing
Project leader, National Voluntary Laboratory Accreditation Program, National Bureau of Standards, Gaithersburg, MD