Published: 01 January 1983
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Cite this document
At least 70 laboratory accreditation systems exist in the United States today, and many of them are directed at a single discipline or narrow spectrum of products. The increase in the number of these systems in response to a growing need for laboratory testing services indicates the viability of the laboratory accreditation concept. The National Voluntary Laboratory Acceditation Program (NVLAP) was established by the Department of Commerce to provide a national, multidisciplinary laboratory evaluation scheme.
NVLAP evaluation is based upon compliance with criteria that reflect the latest technology in laboratory operation and management. These criteria are sufficiently flexible to accommodate such diverse testing areas as thermal insulation, carpet, and concrete. The evaluation of laboratories, conducted by the National Bureau of Standards, utilizes a peer review. It combines elements of questionnaire, laboratory on-site survey, and testing of proficiency samples in a comprehensive examination to determine a laboratory’s capability to perform specific tests. NVLAP, an interactive system between laboratory and accreditor, provides a mechanism for overall laboratory improvement.
accreditation criteria, checklist, laboratory accreditation, laboratory assessment, laboratory evaluation, peer review, quality assurance, test methods, training
Health physicist, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, D.C.