About CALA

All CALA services are designed and delivered to inspire excellence in laboratories; to promote a better understanding of laboratory test results by laboratory clients; and to earn the confidence of Regulators

Our Mission

CALA is a not-for-profit member-based association that instills public confidence in laboratory test results by providing internationally recognized accreditation, proficiency testing and training services.

Our Core Values

CALA models the highest standards of fair and ethical conduct, as well as technical and professional expertise to and for its members and clients.

CALA promotes the critical importance of accreditation, proficiency testing and high quality information in improving environmental quality and public health and safety and in so doing CALA provides a unique contribution to solving problems in these areas.

CALA’s provides Canadian Laboratories with a world-class accreditation service leading their clients to a significant global competitive advantage.

CALA acts as a strong agent and advocate for change in protecting public health and safety through laboratory accreditation and proficiency testing, and through public awareness education.

CALA follows the principles and practices of continual improvement to ensure program integrity and sustainability, supported by internal and external education and training.

CALA delivers true value to clients and strives to improve their businesses by expanding their capabilities.

CALA fosters a high degree of cooperation and transparency between the Association, its members, its partners, and other interested parties.

CALA improves the quality and effectiveness of its programs through access to the diverse and unique strengths of domestic and international partners.

CALA provides essential linkages between the environmental, food, mineral, petroleum and public and occupational health testing disciplines.

Benchmarks of Performance: Accreditation

The CALA Accreditation Program has conducted site audits and evaluate each laboratory’s performance at regular intervals, granting accreditation to the laboratory based on a decision of the CALA Accreditation Council.

To safeguard the quality of data, CALA assesses participating laboratories to the ISO/IEC 17025 standard in accordance with the ISO/IEC 17011 standard. The granting of CALA accreditation requires a laboratory to successfully complete an initial site assessment and to maintain accreditation the laboratory must successfully complete a site visit at required intervals.

Site visits are conducted by highly trained volunteer assessors who are selected for their strong analytical backgrounds. Each assessor must undergo comprehensive and formal training on ISO/IEC 17025 and CALA specific requirements.

Another important component of CALA accreditation is strict requirements on proficiency testing participation.  Successful participation in proficiency testing programs is further demonstration of a laboratory’s technical competence.

International Recognition and CALA

CALA is a signatory to the Asia Pacific Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (APLAC) and a signatory to the APLAC Mutual Recognition Arrangement (MRA) for testing. It is also signatory to the international Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC) MRA for testing. These international agreements provide mutual recognition between accrediting bodies in countries in Africa, the Asia Pacific region, the Americas, Europe and the Middle East. The main aim of these agreements is increased worldwide use and acceptance by both industry and government of endorsed reports from accredited laboratories – “a product tested once and accepted everywhere”.

CALA programs are also endorsed by the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment, and enjoy the support of federal and provincial governments, as well as private sector companies who provide volunteer staff and work with us to enhance the quality of information available for making environmental decisions. To this end, we encourage government agencies, private sector organizations and professional associations across Canada to participate in the review and evaluation of issues relating to the quality of Canadian testing in analytical laboratories.

Committed to Responsibility

CALA is committed to working with the laboratory community and their clients to achieve and demonstrate the value of implementing the highest quality standards of testing in Canadian analytical laboratories.

In our efforts to enhance services to both members and their clients, we will continue to expand our existing programs to cover a wider array of tests. This effort is complemented by CALA’s training courses and specialized studies. We will also seek further efficiencies in our programs in order to reduce costs to participating laboratories and encourage broader participation within the laboratory community. Finally, we will continue our international efforts both in the interest of promoting good science and ensuring that Canadian companies can meet the requirements of international trade agreements.

Membership Information

Membership in the Canadian Association for Laboratory Accreditation Inc. (CALA) is limited to persons, or, organisations interested in the objective of the association. To become a member, please fill out a membership application.

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