A2LA vs. other accreditors

J

JerryStem

#1
We are coming up on yet another re-assessment for ISO-17025 by A2LA. We've been accredited since '99 or '00. Last year's MU fiasco left a bad taste for A2LA (held up our renewal because they weren't sure our methods of computing MU were correct,went round and round for months, culminating in a special 1.5 day audit by yet another assessor who said "Yes you are still doing things correctly").

So, with that in mind, we are debating switching to another AB. A2LA seems very expensive as well. But they certainly have the name recognition.

Has anyone had good/bad experiences with other AB's? Trying to remember who else is out there. LAB, NVLAP, ummm........ I'd especially like to hear from anyone who's used A2LA AND anyone else!

Jerry
(Calibration of coating/plating thickness measuring equipment : XRF, Beta, Eddy Current, Magnetic, ...)
 
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Jerry Eldred

Forum Moderator
Super Moderator
#2
Because I don't like to editorialize in a public forum such as this, I won't reply in detail here. I do have some specific (and very similar) experience I would be happy to share with you. If you send me a message through this website with your email address, I'll be happy to share those details with you. I would normally enter my email address here for you, but I am about to relocate from TX to New England (on the plane tomorrow), and in that process, my personal email address is about to change in the next few days. So please feel free to send that posting, and within about a week I should know my new email address. I hope to reply to you before my current email address discontinues.
 

Hershal

Metrologist-Auditor
Staff member
Super Moderator
#4
JerryStem,

In the North American market, there are several that are recognized. The accrediting bodies operating in North America that are recognized Nationally and/or internationally are:

IAS, A2LA, NVLAP, L-A-B, ACLASS, SCC/CLAS (Canada), and EMA (Mexico)

The recognition is from:

NACLA (National Cooperation for Laboratory Accreditation), accrediting bodies are IAS, NVLAP, L-A-B, ACLASS

APLAC (Asia Pacific Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation), bodies are IAS, A2LA, NVLAP, SCC/CLAS, EMA

ILAC (International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation), bodies are same as for APLAC.

Hope this helps you find an AB that is the best match for you, and I do recommend talking to more than one and getting quotes.

Hope this helps.

Hershal
 
J

jfgunn

#6
L-A-B is Good Option, but A2LA has name recognition.

As an accredited lab (by L-A-B), I can say we have been happy.

Of course, A2LA, has a monopoloistic attitude where they don't accept L-A-B so if you do any work for A2LA accredited testing laboratories, you are kind of stuck.

Here is a little logic for you:

A2LA accepts NVLAP through APLAC and ILAC
NVLAP accepts L-A-B through NACLA
A2LA doesn't accept LAB.

NVLAP administered by NIST and the federal goverment. A2LA grandfathered in as the only player in the field for several years.

Good luck with your search. Hopefully, you don;t have a lot of business with Testing Labs and you don't really need the A2LA.
 
J

JerryStem

#7
I know recently A2LA dropped recognition of someone's mutual agreement, I don't recall the details.

We do mostly calibrations for customer equipment that they use in their own companies, XRay Fluorescence, Beta Backscatter and Magnetic instruments mostly. We manufacture our own line & rebuild/recertify a number of other mfr's equipment as well (that was how this company started).

I do testing work occasionally, usually customer sends in part or parts & we measure the thickness, for an hourly rate.

Guess it's time to start looking now...

Jerry
 

Hershal

Metrologist-Auditor
Staff member
Super Moderator
#8
jfgunn said:
NVLAP administered by NIST and the federal goverment. A2LA grandfathered in as the only player in the field for several years.
That is not quite correct.....NVLAP is in fact run by NIST.....however, to obtain recognition by ILAC, APLAC, or even NACLA, the accrediting body undergoes a rigorous peer evaluation. IAS (the third cofounder of NACLA that accredits cal labs) went through evaluation, as did L-A-B and ACLASS later. SCC/CLAS and EMA also have been through evaluation by APLAC.

For some sense of the alphabet soup involved in accrediting bodies, see my post a few blocks down in this thread.

Hope this helps.

Hershal
 
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