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World-Class Accreditation - Today and Tomorrow Set as Theme for NACLA Conference


New York, Feb 19, 2002

The National Cooperation for Laboratory Accreditation (NACLA), a not-for-profit organization established to evaluate U.S. laboratory accreditation bodies, has announced that its 2002 Annual Conference will be held on April 8-9 at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City in Arlington, Virginia.

The Forum will address the latest developments in all areas of laboratory accreditation, both nationally and internationally, as well as the direction in which accreditation is headed. According to the advance program, a significant portion of the morning program on April 8 will be devoted to a discussion of issues and challenges related to the international accreditation standard, ISO/IEC 17025 - General requirements for the competence of testing and calibration laboratories. Presently, NACLA accomplishes its mission by evaluating accreditation bodies (ABs) and granting recognition to those ABs found to meet International Organization for Standardization (ISO)/International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) Guide 58. ABs judged competent are then invited to sign the NACLA mutual recognition arrangement (MRA). MRA signatory ABs consider each other's accreditations as technically equivalent.

On the morning of April 9, Mr. Keith Mowry, chairman of the ANSI International Conformity Assessment Committee and Dr. Belinda Collins, Deputy Director of Technology Services at the National Institute of Standards and Technology and a member of the ANSI Board of Directors, will serve on a panel discussion about the proposed standard ISO 17011 - General requirements for bodies providing assessment and accreditation and the International Accreditation Forum (IAF) - International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC) Relationship.

Conference organizers indicate that all persons representing organizations with a stake in laboratory accreditation: Accrediting Bodies, Testing Laboratories, Calibration Laboratories, Industrial Firms, Government Agencies are invited to attend.

The draft program, registration forms and additional information are available via the NACLA website.

The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) is a founding member of NACLA and has a seat on the organization's board of directors.

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