A2LA Certification and moving to a new Facility

#1
I am not an A2LA expert, nor do I play one on T.V.. But I got a call from a friend that asked a question I can't answer. I could not find anything in a search. Here's the issue.

My friend has a company that is A2LA certified. They want to move to a larger facility. They have been told that if they move, they will lose their certification and it will take 2-3 years to re-certify. That seems a bit extreme. Any input would be greatly appreciated.
 
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Jen Kirley

Quality and Auditing Expert
Staff member
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#2
Hi db,

In general I can offer a site titled A2LA Explanations for the ISO/IEC 17025 Requirements that explains many of A2LA rules and interpretations.

However, I didn't find an answer to your specific question there. I did find it on A2LA's Suspensions and Withdrawals page, which said:
INACTIVE

An Inactive laboratory is one that has specifically requested in writing that their accreditation be allowed to temporarily expire due to unforeseen or unavoidable circumstances (e.g., a laboratory move or rennovation, significant personnel turnover, change in ownership, etc.) that prevent them from adhering to the A2LA requirements and/or conditions for accreditation. Inactive status can be given to a laboratory for no longer than one year.
I hope this helps!
 

Jerry Eldred

Forum Moderator
Super Moderator
#3
I have personal experience on this with another accreditation body (so not certain how A2LA would specifically handle it). We recently moved a lab. We did not have to re-certify. We provided the details and they approved our new location. If the equipment, personnel, quality manual, etc. is all the same, the biggest issues that come to mind are environmental history on the new location, and keeping instruments safeguarded from issues that may invalidate their calibrations.

I would say to contact your contact person at A2LA and discuss with them, and request what they need from you. It may be you'll need to provide information on how you'll safeguard the instruments during the move, and how you will be able to verify that the environment (temp/RH) will meet previous location requirements and performance. I can't at all guarantee what they'll say. But that is based on my experience.
 

Hershal

Metrologist-Auditor
Staff member
Super Moderator
#4
Jerry is correct. Most ABs tend to have - SIMILAR - requirements, so for a move, your main contact at A2LA may have more up-to-date information on transferring to a new address and any assessment requirements that may exist. Let us know what they say (generically, no specific names or any of that), as that may help others who may move.
 

dwperron

Trusted Information Resource
#5
The guys are absolutely right - get in touch with your A2LA contacts and let them know the details. A2LA does have a policy document on location changes, P105, that is downloadable from their website.

I have gone through a lab move with A2LA. It wasn't that bad, because we knew what they wanted and were able to obtain and pass on the data they were looking for. In some cases they will want to visit the new facility (at your expense...), but from what I hear this is unusual. They are concerned with lab environment, so be prepared to map out environmental conditions for a period of time. They want to know if the move has affected any instruments, so you will work out a list of standards and a before / after checklist of measurements to show they were unaffected by the move. This is stuff that you would expect. The secret is to stay in contact with A2LA and your auditors so there won't be unpleasant surprises.
 

brucefon

Quality Coordinator - Hitachi High-Tech
#6
A2LA has a specific one-page Policy on Organization Relocation. P105.

We'll be relocating soon and are working with the accreditation officer and assessor to make a smooth transition. I expect downtime to be days at most, if at all.
 

howste

Thaumaturge
Super Moderator
#7
A2LA has a specific one-page Policy on Organization Relocation. P105.

We'll be relocating soon and are working with the accreditation officer and assessor to make a smooth transition. I expect downtime to be days at most, if at all.
Thanks for the info. P105 can be found here.
 
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