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This paper describes the early development of ASTM Standard E 548, Recommended Practice for Generic Criteria for Use in the Evaluation of Testing and Inspection Agencies. It describes some of the essential concepts developed by Committee E-36 and its task forces and shows how these concepts relate to the work of other ASTM committees and to national and international accreditation programs. He defines the goals of a successful accreditation system as (1) credibility and (2) acceptance. He hopes that ASTM through its Committee E-36, working with the other ASTM committees and outside organizations, can provide national and international leadership in the development of accreditation systems.
laboratory accreditation, systems evaluation, laboratory evaluation
Vice-President, Standards and Association Affairs, Canadian Standards Association, Rexdale, Ont.