- Category: Types of Accreditation
Why Accredit Proficiency Testing Scheme Providers?NATA accreditation of proficiency testing scheme providers enables organisations that are interested in planning, providing and evaluating proficiency testing schemes to achieve and demonstrate a level of competence.
Such an accreditation program provides to the international testing and calibration community a fully functional and operational system of accredited providers of proficiency testing schemes conforming with international criteria.
What Are The Features of NATA's Accreditation Program?
NATA is aware that there may be different arrangements for providing proficiency testing schemes, ranging from all functions being performed by the provider, through various combinations of organisations performing separate tasks leading to the provision of a proficiency testing scheme.
NATA considers that the organisation which is responsible for providing a proficiency testing scheme should ensure that all sub-tasks leading to its provision have been performed competently, whether they are carried out by the provider itself or in combination with sub-contractors.
Accordingly, it is the provider (and any subcontracting arrangements it uses) which NATA evaluates for competence in accordance with the ISO/IEC 17043:2010, Conformity assessment-General Requirements for proficiency testing. Where testing is involved, for example in homogeneity and stability testing, such tests are required to be carried out by technically competent organisations.
Each accreditation by NATA of a provider of proficiency testing schemes is granted in terms of a defined scope of accreditation, which describes the specific types of proficiency testing schemes (and the relevant test materials) which the provider is judged competent to operate.
What Are The Requirements For Accreditation Of Proficiency Testing Scheme Providers?International standard, ISO/IEC 17043:2010, Conformity assessment-General Requirements for proficiency testing, was published on February 1, 2010. This standard, replaces ILAC G13:2000 and both parts of ISO/IEC Guide 43:1997. The ISO/IEC 17043:2010 standard will be used as the basis to evaluate the competence of providers of proficiency testing, as well as to continue to provide guidance in designing the schemes, statistical analysis and reporting of results.
How Does NATA Evaluate The Competence Of A Proficiency Testing Scheme Provider?The process used by NATA for evaluation of compliance with the requirements involves the use of an assessment team comprising technical experts and full-time members of NATA staff. As such it is analogous to laboratory accreditation assessments.
NATA is assisted by an Accreditation Advisory Committee in the appointment of technical assessors; in the development and review of approval requirements; and in providing recommendations for granting and maintaining NATA accreditation as a competent provider of proficiency testing schemes. This Committee comprises experts in the provision, evaluation and use of proficiency testing schemes.