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NACLA to Host Fourth Annual Forum on Laboratory Accreditation


New York, Jan 25, 2005

The National Cooperation for Laboratory Accreditation (NACLA), a not-for-profit organization established to evaluate U.S. laboratory accreditation bodies, has announced that its 2005 Annual Conference will be held on April 5-6 at the Sheraton Columbia Hotel in Columbia, Maryland.

A key focus of the first day's program will be the new International Organization for Standardization (ISO) / International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) standard for accreditation bodies, ISO/IEC 17011-2004, Conformity assessment - General requirements for accreditation bodies accrediting conformity assessment bodies. The U.S. representative to the Working Group responsible for the development of the new standard will identify the key elements of change from the previous ISO/IEC Guide 58; a panel is planned to address what the standard means for Accreditation Bodies and Recognition Cooperations.

NACLA accomplishes its mission by evaluating accreditation bodies (ABs) and granting recognition to those ABs found to meet the new standard (formerly, the ISO/IEC Guide). 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.

Topics for discussion include an exploration of the interaction of calibration and testing laboratories; approaches for identifying qualifications for, selecting and training assessors; and proficiency testing. Additional items relate to the interface between ABs, industry and government; consideration of a Memorandums of Understanding between NACLA and the InterAmerican Accreditation Cooperation; and the NACLA MRA program.

An awards luncheon and the annual NACLA General Meeting will be held on the afternoon of April 6.

Conference organizers invite attendance from all persons representing organizations with a stake in laboratory accreditation: Accrediting Bodies, Testing Laboratories, Calibration Laboratories, Industrial Firms, Government Agencies.

A preliminary 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.

ANSI Focus on Services Standards