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This paper presents a comparison of five laboratory accreditation criteria in six basic categories: organization, human resources, material resources, operating procedures, record keeping, and other. A brief analysis of each set of criteria points out their strengths and weaknesses. The intent of the paper is not to present a proposed set of universal criteria but rather to present comparisons of the elements of the criteria in order to assist standards development organizations to expedite the evolution of such a universal set of criteria.
Laboratory accreditation criteria for measuring the competence of testing laboratories significantly affects the acceptance of test data produced by laboratories in different accreditation systems. In determining whether one system will accept test data produced by laboratories accredited by another system, a detailed comparison of criteria used by each system must be made. Differences must be resolved, either by accepting the fact that one or more criteria are absent in one system as compared to another or else by causing the criteria in one or both systems to change so that the criteria in both systems are in harmony with each other.
laboratory accreditation criteria, criteria comparisons
Currently, Manager, Laboratory Accreditation, National Bureau of Standards, Washington, D.C.