Feedback and Recommendation on Accreditation Body for ISO-17025 Accreditation for a Testing Lab


Hello Elsmar Forum Members,

My lab is in the process of preparing for ISO 17025 accreditation for testing services and would appreciate your valuable feedback and recommendations on the following accreditation bodies:
  • A2LA
  • ANAB
  • PJLA
  • IAS
  • NAC
We are particularly interested in finding an internationally recognized organization and would like to understand more about your experiences with their service and assessment processes. Specifically, we are looking for information on:
  • The rigor and thoroughness of their assessment
  • The flexibility and responsiveness of their service
  • The overall convenience and comfort of working with them
  • The timeframe it took for the entire accreditation process, including any pre-audit experiences
  • The reevaluation and maintenance processes
Any insights or experiences you can share regarding these accreditation bodies would be immensely helpful.

Thank you for your time and assistance.


Involved In Discussions
Something that would help would be your location (country and region, though I assume US) and your scope of work. Are you a mechanical test lab? electrical Calibration lab? Cannabis test lab? Internal only? External customers? And what level are you operating at: Are you a primary calibration lab? Are you doing field/site calibrations only? Commodity services?

From my experience working with a few ABs, most are broadly equivalent from a quality assessment perspective. Technical assessment is another story. If you are a primary calibration lab in mechanical, mass or electrical disciplines, NVLAP is the best option from a reputation and technical standpoint. If you are a cannabis lab, A2LA, IAS, and ANAB all have fairly robust programs. If you are highly specialized (asking for some CVs of technical assessors would be reasonable when vetting an AB

One thing I would look at are their databases. Search for your competitor/peer companies. If you are, for instance, an optical calibration lab, and XYZ Accreditation has no other optical cal labs, I would avoid them.

From your list, the only entity I would avoid entirely would be PJLA (my personal opinion. Don't sue me or the forum please :) ). This is based both on a broad industry reputation of PJLA as somewhat of an 'accreditation mill', and the public actions of their namesake: Who ran for political office, and failed to adequately vet or audit paid signature gathering services. If someone can't run a minimally adequate signature campaign, I have no faith they can run an accreditation body.

The other consideration is mutual recognition. All of the entities you listed are ILAC MRA signatories, which is exactly what they should be. But do you need APAC, AFRAC, or other international recognition schemes to satisfy your customers or some kind of political constraint?


Thank you @AllTheThings for your detailed response. To clarify, we are a small lab located on Northeastern part of USA, performing testing services. We are pursuing ISO-17025 accreditation for our SPR (Surface Plasmon Resonance) testing, which is based on inter-molecular interactions of biological products, using Biacore platform and High Throughput Interaction Analyzer. The testing method is USP-NF 〈1105〉 Immunological Test Methods—Surface Plasmon Resonance.


Involved In Discussions
It sounds like you are doing some really interesting work! Bio is not my background, but searching a few ABs for "Plasmon" yields no results.

You could very end up being the first US lab to be accredited for an SPR method!

I definitely think it is worth searching the AB databases to see which one(s) accredit labs with a similar bio scope. Then, I would definitely talk with those about their ability to technically assess you.

Good luck!


Involved In Discussions
Thank you @AllTheThings for your helpful suggestions and best wishes! I appreciate you taking the time to provide your insights.
Glad I was of some help! This forum is an absolute treasure of expertise, and I am much more often reading than contributing. Stick around and enjoy...It is a friendly crowd


Not to pile on, but I 100% agree with AllTheThings! PJLA is the one AB that I try to steer my clients away from (while also trying to remain impartial myself). My (very few) clients who have chosen PJLA also are primarily interested in a piece of paper, rather than the substantial value that can be added by an effective Lab Management System. The only other AB I've worked with so far is A2LA, and I will readily admit that they will drive a lab hard and audit thoroughly. Their assessors cannot function as consultants during assessments, but I have found all of their assessors to be very open to conversations about best practices and the like. They'll make you work for it, but it will be worth it from the value that they add to your lab's competence. I've learned a lot from A2LA assessors.


Super Moderator
I've got a couple clients for 9001 that use A2LA (just did one this week, and everyone here is probably effected by their work), they are all happy with the auditors, process and experience.
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