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NATA Achieves Another Significant Milestone in Accreditation

The Asia-Pacific Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (APLAC) Mutual Recognition Arrangement (MRA) for the accreditation of Reference Material Producers (RMP) has been signed. The inaugural signing took place on 6 December 2007 during the week of APLAC 2007 meetings in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Please also have a look at the home page of APLAC where you can find a news item regarding the extension to the APLAC MRA: www.aplac.org

The four inaugural signatories to the MRA for RMP are:
  • American Association for Laboratory Accreditation (A2LA, USA);
  • China National Accreditation Service for Conformity Assessment (CNAS, People's Republic of China);
  • International Accreditation Japan (IAJapan, Japan);
  • National Association of Testing Authorities (NATA, Australia).
The practical impact of the signing of the MRA is that certified reference materials and associated endorsed certificates issued by RMP facilities accredited by one of the above four accreditation bodies should be accepted by all economies included in the APLAC MRA. Hence, recertification or retesting of the material should not be required by an importing economy. Also, each of these MRA signatory accreditation bodies agrees to recommend and promote the acceptance by users in their economies of endorsed reference material certificates issued by organisations accredited by the other signatories.

The downstream effect is that the use of reference materials supported by an endorsed test report by laboratories for establishing traceability, test method validation and for instrument calibration purposes will provide enhanced confidence in their results. A significant underlying principle behind this initiative is to reduce technical barriers to trade as mandated by WTO.

NATA would like to take this opportunity to thank the NATA RMP Accreditation Advisory Committee (AAC) members for their constant support to the program; the accredited facility for their cooperation during the March 2007 APLAC evaluation; and our competent assessor who came under scrutiny during the evaluation.