Is A2LA the US National equivalent to ISO 17025?

V

vanputten

#1
Hello All:

This may be a repeat question and keep in mind I am not an expert in calibration or laboratories.

Is an A2LA accreditation a United States equivalent to ISO 17025? Maybe an A2LA accrediation requires ISO 17025 registration? Please educate me on these terms and how I might use A2LA accreditation for supplier qualification. Meaning, I am responsible to qualify our external laboratories and calibration providors. I have been requiring ISO 17025 as TS 16949 states. This A2LA thing is new to me.

Thank you for the education, Dirk
 
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J

Jeff Frost

#2
Ah Laboratory Accreditation and Traceability and A2LA. A2LA is considered an accreditation body for testing and calibration labs. My last check of them shows that they are a signatory of one of the three organizations listed on NIST web site for the National Voluntary Laboratory Accreditation Program or NVLAP. NVLAP has entered into Mutual Recongnition Arrangements (MRAs) with three organizations and has in effect said that they will recognize any accreditation granted by their fellow signatory partner ABs.

The three organizations are the International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC), Asia Pacific Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (APLAC) and the National Cooperation for Laboratory Accreditation (NACLA) and A2LA has signed with two of the three listed Abs and can issue ISO 17025 lab accredation

For more information on NIST/NVLAP program go to www.nist.gov/nvlap.

Hope this helps Dirk,

Jeff
 
J

JoHannah

#3
A2LA and AOAC

Is an A2LA accreditation a United States equivalent to ISO 17025?

A2LA accredits to the 17025 standard, and to other standards too. Depending on what kind of lab you're in, AOAC (Association of Analytical Communities) may be able to audit your lab for 17025 accreditation. Check out their websites. Both have info on 17025. Good luck!
 
K

Kevin H

#4
ISO Guide 17025 & A2LA

Some history, that I hope helps - prior to ISO Guide 17025, the laboratory standard was ISO Guide 25. The transition period for upgrading from Guide 25 to Guide 17025 occured primarily in 2001. (I left a position as a guide 25 accredited mechanical testing lab supervisor to become a quality assurance eng. in Jan. of 2001, as we were beginning the transition) When I first got involved with the testing lab in 1995, A2LA was basically the only US source for laboratory accreditation. In the period between 1995 & 2001, NIST became active and NVLAP came on board. Since then more groups in the US have become registrars for ISO Guide 17025 as mentioned in earlier posts.

If you're tied in to ISO/TS 16949, each of the big three have lists available of companies they accept as being able to register a lab to 17025. I believe I found the lists by going to the OEM's sites, but it might have been through AIAG or AIOB it's been awhile and I don't remember for sure, since we went with nationally recognized/accredited calibration providers.

Hope the history helps a bit.
 
J

Jeff Frost

#5
Interesting that in regards to TS 16949 the big three would dictate whom to use for accreditation to ISO 17025. The AB's are no longer local they are international just like the ISO 9000 Abs and the sub-title of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization Working paper No. 2 states it pretty well "Tested Once - Accepted Everywhere.

If you have a customer restricting whom you can obtain registration through or if they are mandating the use of a particular lab I would ask them why. Based on my companies research we have determined that as long a we have a supplier who is ISO 17025 accredited and their AB is part of NIST/NVLAP program via MRA or have a MOU with ILAC, APLAC or NACLA there accreditation is valid (Tested Once - Accepted Everywhere).

One can only dream that the aerospace's accreditation program NADCAP will one day evolve into the same methodology as the ISO 17025 for accreditation.
 

Hershal

Metrologist-Auditor
Trusted Information Resource
#6
vanputten said:
Is an A2LA accreditation a United States equivalent to ISO 17025?

NO NO NO!!!!!

A2LA is ONE, BUT NOT THE ONLY ISO/IEC 17025 ACCREDITATION BODIES IN THE UNITED STATES!

The absolute Cadillac accrediting body is NVLAP, which is a part of NIST. they are by far the ultimate......and unfortunately the most expensive......accreditation body.

The OLDEST accreditation body is actually IAS.......also the only AB on the west coast.

Other include L-A-B, ACLASS, and others.

Accreditation by A2LA is an accreditation to ISO/IEC 17025. A2LA is one organization -but NOT the only organization - that provides that accreditation!

Understand, A2LA is a good organization.......but A2LA are NOT the same term......they are one organization that provides that accreditation.

Hope this helps.

Hershal
 
L

Laura M

#7
So how do I confirm if the 'registrar' issuing a cert to a Calibration lab is qualified to issue such cert. I always look for the RAB or UKAS, etc on ISO9000 certs, but what language should be on a lab cert?
 

Hershal

Metrologist-Auditor
Trusted Information Resource
#8
It is easy to know.....

http://www.ilac.org

http://www.aplac.org

http://www.european-accreditation.org

Check these websites to determine if the accrediting body is a signatory to that arrangement. If yes, then accept the certificate. Keep in mind that they may also have a lower level of "membership" that does not require the assessment for signatory status.

Signatory status means that other international accrediting bodies have come in, held their feet to the fire, and they have survived and corrected anything found wanting.

Hope this helps.

Hershal
 
G

Gweber

#9
Accreditation - ACLASS/A2LA/NVLAP, etc

I've seen some mention of 17025 accreditation, who to use, TS 16949, etc. Things are different than they were 5 years ago. ISO 17025 Accreditation can be granted by several different AB's in the US such as A2LA, ACLASS, NVLAP, NQA, and more. The Big 3 recognize most of them now so if you operate in the automotive industry you are fine using almost anyone. This is true with TS 16949. You should talk with several AB's and decided who you feel the most comfortable with. Most of the AB's are either in the process have nearly completed the NACLA MRA process. Here are some helpful links

www.a2la.com
www.aclasscorp.com
www.nqa.com
www.nist.gov

GW
 
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