Some more thoughts....
Date: Mon, 28 Feb 2000 12:07:48 -0500
To: Greg Gogates
Cc: Brenda Dusek
Subject: Re: ISO/TS 16949 RE5
Why would L-A-B have to be recognized by A2LA or NVLAP to be referenced in the same light? So far, A2LA and NVLAP have not been given the authority by anyone to "recognize" accreditation bodies, and I can't imagine anything that would be a greater conflict of interest. L-A-B derives its authority from the Big Three auto makers and others who recognize their accreditations. They do not need, nor can they expect authorization from other accreditation bodies. There seems to be some misunderstanding about, where and/or from whom, an accreditation body derives its authority. Their authority comes strictly from those organizations that recognize their accreditations and are willing to use the results of those accreditations.
At some point in time I am sure that L-A-B will seek mutual recognition with A2LA and NVLAP, but that is certainly not anything that bestows any authority. A2LA and NVLAP have both signed mutual recognition agreements with each other, but if other companies or regulatory agencies have not given them the authority to do accreditations on their behalf they, don't have a reason to exist. All an MRA does, is indicate that the signatories agree that their systems are equivalent.(and a couple of other things that aren't relevant to this discussion) Just how much authority do you believe this bestows on an accreditation body, not much if you can't find anyone willing to use your accreditations. The fact that L-A-B has been authorized for use by the Big Three auto makers, gives them all the authority they need.
Tom, I realize your loyalty lies with A2LA, and that is admirable. Just remember they are not the ones, nor is NVLAP, that will ever give L-A-B the authority to exist. The users of their accreditations give L-A-B the authority to exist.
Date: Tue, 29 Feb 2000 00:06:35 -0600
To: Greg Gogates
Subject: Re: ISO/TS 16949 RE6
I am pro-accreditation. Yes, I am a A2LA Auditor and believe in their management and track record of maintaining a credable and Clear position on accreditation. Even to the point of having a meaningful "conflict of interest policy " . I'm sure that you would want any readers to clearly understand that L-A-B is granted its existance by the big three to serve the big threes efforts in allowing the suppliers of calibration services to the big three and that is where it ends. I did not want to confuse anyone to think that a L-A-B certistification or recregisteration lab services will be accepted by testing or calibration labs not serving the Big Three efforts. When I use A2LA and NVLAP in the same light, I am only referencing Accreditation bodies that have mutual recognition agreements. I thought if you were to use L-A-B with the other 2 accreditation bodies( that are also recognized by THE BIG THREE) in the same light, You might want the "rest of the story" to be clear for all readers. The only conflict here is representation.
Anti-confusionistic about certifistation or accregistration or what ever
you call tha thing that looks like , sounds like but IS NOT ACCREDITATION
Date: Tue, 29 Feb 2000 08:32:26 -0500
From: "gortakowski, charles"
To: 'Greg Gogates'
Subject: RE: ISO/TS 16949 RE6
As far as I know A2LA, and NVLAP have not signed an agreement to recognize each other in the US. They have signed an agreement under APLAC. But I have tried to get something in writing from NVLAP, or A2LA that they see each other as the same, or agreement to recognize each other. I could not get it. I am now NVLAP, and A2LA accredited. This was required by NVAIR because they did not see them as the same. If there is a signed document other then APLAC, I could really use it. This is a big problem in the US we have MRA's with other countries, but non internal. I just had to vent having lived through this issue. I am now going for a third accreditation. The cost of testing will have to go up some day. If there is a signed US internal MRA I could use a copy.
Date: Tue, 29 Feb 2000 10:53:11 -0500
To: Greg Gogates
Subject: Re: ISO/TS 16949 RE7
Tom, It would be impossible for me to question your belief in accreditation. Yes, I agree that the whole story is important, not just for L-A-B clients, but for all accreditation body's clients. To my knowledge L-A-B has not misinformed anyone, on their authority or policies. Also to the best of my knowledge, you have never contact L-A-B, and inquired about their services, so I don't know where your innuendoes are coming from. I have seen and heard quite a bit of misinformation about L-A-B, presented, unfortunately, by well respected people in the laboratory industry, who, by the way, have not inquired about the L-A-B services, and are only spreading rumors and speculation. If one wishes to speak authoritatively about a subject, one must first know the subject.
The program that L-A-B has developed is based on the same standards (guide 65 & 25) used by both A2LA and NVLAP, and it is an accreditation body. All of the accreditation bodies have programs that suit the needs of their users. A2LA and NVLAP have great programs, and L-A-B has taken some lessons from them; why reinvent the wheel. If you want more information about L-A-B and their program, why not contact them. That way your statements about them will be based in fact, and not hearsay. I would hope that anyone considering accreditation would shop ALL of the options, and pick the one that is best suited to their business needs and budget.
Date: Tue, 29 Feb 2000 11:21:31 -0500
From: Ross Hansen
To: Greg Gogates
Subject: ISO/TS 16949 RE7
While I do not imply to defend or speak for LAB, I must comment. The "Big 3" do not grant existence - they provide a need for a service which LAB (and others) provide. Second, LAB also claims to accredit testing labs (not just cal labs) - this is of particular interest to we in the EMC testing community. Third, acceptance of an LAB accreditation beyond the automotive industry will be dependent on the individual user. Many of our customers accept our data on the merits of our NVLAP or A2LA accreditation, solely on the basis of it being Guide 25 based. Finally, LAB is a relatively new accreditation body. Who is to say that they will not attempt to enter into MRA's with other agencies in the future? And regarding MRA's - if this was a major selling point, then our NVLAP EMC accreditation would be considered acceptable by the big 3. It is not.
Thanks for listening.
QA Manager - Retlif Testing Labs
Visit our WEB Site - www.retlif.com
Date: Tue, 29 Feb 2000 14:21:18 -0500
From: "Loebach, David" firstname.lastname@example.org
To: 'Greg Gogates'
Subject: RE: ISO/TS 16949 RE7
I fear something is going wrong with our system. Accreditation should serve as a voluntary mechanism to assure users of laboratories of some minimum level of competency. The purpose of accrediting bodies should be to serve the community at large rather than to become self-serving and an entity in themselves. I fear that this is what is happening. LAB serves the automobile industry by identifying minimum levels of competency in those that are accredited. LAB provides the same service to the automobile industry as A2LA and NVLAP provide to their clientele. It meets the definition of accrediting body. LAB exists because of the shortcomings of the accrediting bodies available to the automotive industry at the time. Instead of accepting the deficiencies in the existing systems, the automotive industry was big enough to form their own system. Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. It is only a matter of time before an over concentration of power results in self-serving behavior, high cost, and general disregard for the customer.
Date: Wed, 1 Mar 2000 06:23:53 -0500
From: "Peter S. Unger" email@example.com
To: 'Greg Gogates'
Subject: RE: ISO/TS 16949 RE8
I do not recall receiving a request from Chuck Gortakowsk, but A2LA recognizes NVLAP accreditation as equivalent to its own. This is a clear provision of the APLAC Mutual Recognition Arrangement (MRA). We would expect all APLAC MRA signatories to make the same statement in writing or otherwise.
The problem for the accredited labs is that users of accreditation do not necessarily accept this equivalence and, therefore, end up requiring one type of accreditation to the exclusion of others. The more clients that a laboratory has the more likely the demand will be for multiple accreditations. Every accreditation body that exists is going to have its users. Otherwise, it won't exist for long.
We hope that the situation of multiple accreditations would be lessened for US-based labs with the existing mutual recognition arrangement, such as APLAC's, and the emerging MRA under the National Cooperation for Laboratory Accreditation (NACLA). Come to the April 10th NACLA annual meeting to hear about progress on this subject.
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