The federal and several provincial governments often require that labs be accredited in order to be considered for certain testing contracts. Private sector clients may impose similar requirements. For other labs, they may see accreditation as a competitive advantage -- having independent verification of their competence.
One must also consider the perspective of the clients using the lab data. Those knowledgeable about laboratories and laboratory testing, understand the need for a quality management systems (QMS) and independent verification of that QMS. They are therefore more likely to seek out accredited labs to perform work on their behalf. Knowing that these labs have had to participate in some form of proficiency testing, objectively comparing their results to peer labs performing the same tests, gives clients confidence in the data the lab produces. Also, recognizing that the lab's QMS has been independently evaluated by a third party and found to meet the requirements of the standard, reduces the client's business risk and increases their confidence in the laboratory's results. Lab testing is too expensive and the results potentially too important for it to be a matter of faith when working with a lab that has its own QMS system without any independent verification of competence. While accreditation cannot guarantee that a lab always produces high quality data, it should increase your confidence that a lab is capable of producing high quality data.
I would like to hear your story. Why has your lab chosen accreditation? Or why not? Why do you choose to include certain tests within the scope of accreditation, but not others? Do you view accreditation as an endorsement that helps improve the quality in your lab? Or is it a hurdle you must work through in order to obtain certain work. I'm interested in all viewpoints. Please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks for your support. I look forward to hearing from you.
President & CEO
Dear CALA Customers and Members,
I joined CALA after 32 years with the Federal Government, mostly spent working in and managing laboratories. I have seen first-hand the quality and reliability of work resulting from labs that are accredited. I am undeniably an advocate of accreditation and clearly my role with CALA is to spread the accreditation message. With this goal in mind, it has lead me to reflect on the notion of laboratory accreditation. In a twist however, I'd like to open up that discussion to you, our stakeholders.