The American Association for Laboratory Accreditation (A2LA) is a nonprofit, non-governmental, public service, membership society. We are the only independent (meaning that we are not governed by another, “parent” organization), non-profit, internationally-recognized accreditation body in the United States that offers a full range of comprehensive laboratory and laboratory-related accreditation services and training. Services are available to any type of organization, be it private or government. All of our accreditation programs are based on internationally-accepted criteria for competence. In addition to the accreditation of laboratories, A2LA offers programs for the accreditation of inspection bodies, proficiency testing providers, reference material producers and product certification bodies.
Provide world-class accreditation and training services for testing and calibration laboratories, inspection bodies, proficiency testing providers, reference material producers and product certifiers. These and other future services should create stakeholder confidence in the quality, competence and integrity of all A2LA-accredited organizations and in their products and services.
Who “Accredits” A2LA?
A2LA is a signatory to the International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC) Mutual Recognition Arrangement (MRA) and the International Accreditation Forum (IAF) Multilateral Recognition Arrangement (MLA). What does this mean?
An accreditation body’s acceptance into the ILAC MRA or IAF MLA is dependent upon their being successfully evaluated by peers from other accreditation bodies in accordance with relevant rules and procedures contained in ILAC or IAF publications. Each accreditation body that is a signatory to the ILAC MRA or IAF MLA commits to:
- Maintaining conformity with the current version of ISO/IEC 17011 Conformity Assessment – General Requirements for bodies providing assessment and accreditation of conformity assessment bodiesand supplementary documents.
- Ensuring that all organizations that are accredited comply with appropriate standards (e.g. ISO/IEC 17025 General Requirements for the competence of testing and calibration laboratories, ISO/IEC 17065 Requirements for bodies certifying products, process and services).
The ILAC MRA and IAF MLA have been structured to build on existing and developing regional MRAs and MLAs established around the world. Regional cooperation bodies that operate a regional MRA/MLA are responsible for coordinating peer evaluations and, thereby, maintaining confidence in the accreditation bodies that are signatories to the regional MRA/MLA.
Currently, the European Cooperation for Accreditation (EA), the Asia Pacific Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (APLAC) and the Inter-American Accreditation Cooperation (IAAC) are the only ILAC-recognized regional cooperation bodies for the ILAC MRA. The European Cooperation for Accreditaiton (EA), the Pacific Accreditation Cooperation (PAC) and the Inter-American Accreditation Cooperation (IAAC) are the only IAF-recognized regional cooperation bodies for the IAF MLA. This means that the MRA/MLA process and evaluation procedures of EA, IAAC, APLAC and PAC have been peer evaluated by ILAC and/or IAF and have been deemed to meet ILAC and/or IAF requirements. Recognized regional cooperation bodies are re-evaluated on an on-going basis over a 4 year period (i.e., all aspects of the regional cooperation body’s operation must be evaluated at least once every 4 years). A2LA is a signatory to the regional APLAC & IAAC MRAs.
In addition to ILAC MRA and IAF MLA signatory status, A2LA enjoys many domestic recognitions. Please visit here to learn more about these domestic recognitions.
Additionally, the National Institute for Standards and Technology /National Voluntary Conformity Assessment Systems Evaluation (NIST/NVCASE) performs periodic evaluations of A2LA and has listed A2LA as a recognized accreditation body in the following areas:
- A2LA is recognized for the accreditation of Product Certification Bodies (PCB) that certify products related to telecommunications equipment. This listing enables A2LA-accredited PCBs to certify that specified telecommunication equipment satisfies designated foreign and/or domestic government regulatory requirements. A2LA’s Scope of Recognition through NIST/NVCASE includes the following regulatory requirements:
- FCC Telecommunication Certification Body (TCB) Program
- Industry Canada under the APEC TEL MRA Phase II
- Singapore’s Info-Communications Development Authority (IDA) under APEC TEL MRA Phase II
- Hong Kong’s Office of Telecommunications Authority (OFTA) under the APEC TEL MRA Phase II
- Japan’s Telecommunication Business Act and Radio Law (MIC) under the US-Japan MRA
2.The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has also formally listed A2LA as competent to accredit testing laboratories to meet the technical requirements for acceptance by European Union Member State Governments under the EMC Annex of the U.S. – E.U Mutual Recognition Agreement. NIST has also listed A2LA as an authorized body under the provisions of Phase I of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) TEL MRA. The NIST/NVCASE approval process also includes a full evaluation of A2LA against the requirements of ISO/IEC 17011.