NABL to start product based accreditation for Laboratories

Henceforth, the certificate with ISO/IEC 17025:2005 becomes invalid and will be treated as non-accredited by NABL.”


Last Updated on July 4, 2021 by The Health Master

The National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories (NABL) is planning to start product based accreditation soon and has urged support and cooperation of the laboratories on the same.

This will not only help in increasing the business but also help in meeting the laboratory requirements based on Quality Control Orders (QCOs) and products under Compulsory Certification of the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) among others.

“As per the plan, partial scope for any product will not be accepted in the application under this category. Laboratory has to apply for all the tests on the product as per the standard. This may be required for enhancing the present capacity or infrastructure of the lab,” said N Venkateswaran, CEO, NABL.

Picture: Pixabay

NABL is also going to introduce a blockchain based document control system in the form of a Portal for all calibration laboratories, in the first phase, to upload their calibration certificates with NABL symbol, which will ensure authenticity and traceability requirements as per NABL 142.

It has already started accepting applications for SARS-CoV-2 RNA virus from all medical testing Laboratories including those already accredited for RT PCR (other RNA viruses. This would benefit laboratories to use NABL symbol on their test reports for C-19 testing.

“Further, model scope is being developed and we invite volunteers willing to contribute in preparing the model scope in their area of expertise. This helps in harmonisation of accredited scope,” Venkateswaran added.

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Speaking about accreditation of labs, Venkateswaran further added, “We are happy to inform you that 99% of the testing and calibration laboratories could complete the transition from ISO/IEC 17025:2005 version to ISO/IEC 17025:2017 version successfully. The accreditation of those labs, which did not transit by the deadline of May 31, 2021, has been withdrawn and their name removed from the directory of accredited labs.

Henceforth, the certificate with ISO/IEC 17025:2005 becomes invalid and will be treated as non-accredited by NABL.”

NABL is striving hard to prevent manipulation of test results and eliminate fake test reports from the market. It has directed all accredited laboratories to implement authentication mechanisms, like use of QR code or better way, on the test reports being issued by them.

This will ensure that the end user can quickly verify the authenticity of the test reports. This is aimed to bolster trust in the authenticity of test results being issued by the accredited laboratories and instil confidence.

As per the NABL mandate, labs should provide QR code on all test reports and calibration certificates issued which can be scanned using any QR scanning application available on mobile or any device to authenticate and reproduce the test report/calibration certificate online.

NABL has been established with the objective of providing Government, Industry Associations and Industry in general with a scheme of Conformity Assessment Body (CAB) accreditation which involves third-party assessment of the technical competence of testing including medical and calibration laboratories, proficiency testing providers (PTP) and reference material producers (RMP). Accreditation process details are provided in NABL 100 “General information Brochure”.

NABL is self-financing and charges fees to CAB to cover operational costs and other expenditure.

NABL offers accreditation services in a non-discriminatory manner. These services are accessible to all testing including medical and calibration laboratories, PTPs and RMPs in India and other countries in the region, regardless of the size of the applicant CAB or its membership of any association or group or number of CABs already accredited by NABL. For applicable fees, one may refer to NABL 100 “General Information Brochure”.

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