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Spring 2018 Newsletter

NEWS​

 

AIHA LAP ​Maintains Its ILAC Recognition Status

 

AIHA Laboratory Accreditation Programs is pleased to announce that it was approved for continued recognition by the Asia Pacific Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (APLAC) on March 7, 2018 and the Inter America Accreditation Cooperation (IAAC) on March 14, 2018. APLAC and IAAC are both regional bodies of the International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC) and their recognition is done under the auspice of and on behalf of ILAC.  AIHA LAP is a signatory of the APLAC and ILAC Mutual Recognition Arrangement and the IAAC Multilateral Arrangement. To maintain its status, AIHA LAP underwent a weeklong on-site evaluation (by both APLAC and IAAC) in July 2017 that included the witnessing of site assessments. AIHA LAP will undergo its next joint evaluation by June 2021. A big thank you to the staff, the APLAC/IAAC evaluation team, the site assessors and the laboratories that were kind enough to allow their assessments to be witnessed. 

 

 

Preparing for ISO/IEC 17025:201​7  

 

As announced previously, ISO’s Conformity Assessment Standards Committee, or CASCO, published a revision to ISO/IEC 17025 in November 2017. While most technical requirements in the standard have remained the same, the standard has been restructured and includes more process-oriented language to make it more consistent with ISO 9001 and other ISO/IEC 17000 series of standards. Many familiar terms (like “quality manager” and “quality manual”) in the standard have been removed; the revised standard also includes concepts that may be new to testing laboratories, such as risk-based thinking and impartiality. For the past several weeks, AIHA LAP has been working to train all site assessors and volunteers on the new standard, with the goal of having a consistent approach to conducting assessments. A considerable amount of work has also been underway on revising AIHA LAP policies for which ISO/IEC 17025 is the basis. 

 

AIHA LAP expects to release its new policies and ancillary documents (application, forms and checklists) that incorporate the 2017 version of ISO/IEC 17025 by June 2018 and will begin accepting applications at that time. All AIHA LAP laboratories must be assessed according to the new standard no later than August 31, 2020.  

 

Stay tuned for more information on the webinars and other training opportunities that AIHA LAP will offer its accredited labs starting in May. Until then, all accredited labs are encouraged to purchase a copy of the standard. If you’re attending the American Industrial Hygiene Conference and Exposition, don’t miss Part 2 of the AIHA LAP May 23 Special Session during which Warren Merkel (NIST) will give overview the key differences between the 2005 and 2017 ISO/IEC 17025 standards and how those differences could impact both the laboratory and data user.

 

2018 Annual Meeting a Succ​ess

 

AIHA LAP had a very successful 2018 Annual meeting in Falls Church, Virginia, on March 13-16, 2018. The focus of this year’s meeting, which is held for site assessors, volunteers and staff, was the revised standard that we use to accredit labs (ISO/IEC 17025:2017). Site assessors, who had a separate meeting, got a chance to discuss the best approaches to conducting AIHA LAP assessments using this new performance-based standard and receive input from the Analytical Accreditation Board and Technical Advisory Panel members.  

 

At the dinner reception, the assessors who participated in the assessments that were witnessed for the APLAC/IAAC evaluation — Keith Nicholson, Sandy Moore and Chris Kearney — were recognized. New site assessor Dixie Marlin received the Evan Campbell award for outstanding work and TAP member Irma Faszewski received the Newton Whitman award for the scope and number of TAP reviews she has conducted. Analytical Accreditation Board member Bob Lieckfield was the recipient of this year’s Harriotte A. Hurley award for his outstanding work on developing education programs at AIHce EXP — an effort he has been leading for the past several years.   

 


 

 

EVENTS​

 

World Accreditation Day: June 9 marks World Accreditation Day 2018. Established by the International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC) and the International Accreditation Forum, World Accreditation Day is celebrated each year to raise awareness of the importance of accreditation activities. This year, the focus of World Accreditation Day will be on the role that accreditation plays in delivering a safer world. Worker safety is what AIHA had in mind when it established its Industrial Hygiene Laboratory Accreditation Program in 1974 — a program for laboratories analyzing samples to evaluate workplace exposure to chemical hazards. Stay tuned for information on how AIHA LAP will celebrate this year’s WAD and the significance IHLAP has and continues to play in protecting worker health. 

 

 
 

 

 

Volunteers Sought: AIHA LAP is seeking qualified volunteers to fill positions on the Analytical Accreditation Board (AAB) and the Technical Advisory Panel (TAP) to serve terms that begin on March 1, 2019. All applications must be submitted by July 30, 2018. For additional information, please email AIHA LAP Managing Director Cheryl O. Morton or call 703-846-0789.

 

Lab Track Will Be Pa​rt of AIHce EXP

 

AIHA LAP 2018 Session

AIHce EXP 2018 will be held in Philadelphia this year (May 21-23) and registration is officially open. A number of AIHA LAP-accredited labs will be exhibiting along with AIHA LAP (Booth 1129), so attendees will have plenty of opportunities to learn about where to go for reliable testing and where to find accredited labs at Conference. AIHce EXP 2018 will once again feature a Laboratory Track for those who are working in laboratories and want to learn more about lab health and safety, or may want to learn about the latest on laboratory testing, sampling and analysis. There are many sessions in the Lab Track, which spans three days of this year’s conference and will cover a wide array of topics, from risk perception to hazards and even exposure assessment. Bob Lieckfield (Maaxum Analytics/BV) has organized a four-part Education Session — Days of Our Lives: Practical Applications for the IH Laboratory and Their Customers — that will be conducted on May 23 and will cover the following emerging topics: 

 

Part 1 — The Storms of Sampling and Analysis

 

Part 2 — Drama Implementing Sustainable Continuous Improvement Program: Benefits, Hurdles and Culture

 

Part 3 — A Reawakening: ISO/IEC 17025:2017 Evolving Mindset of the International Laboratory Standard

 

Part 4 — A Stranger in Town: HSE Role in Protecting Worker Encounters With Illicit Drugs​

 

Look for more information on the Lab Track in an email that will be sent to all laboratories next week. 

 


 

QUARTER​LY FAQ


Why is the ILAC MRA Mark on My Accreditation Certificate?

    



Newly-accredited AIHA-LAP laboratories often ask about ILAC when they see the ILAC MRA mark on their accreditation certificate and want to know more about the organization and its role in laboratory accreditation.  ILAC or the International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation is the international organization for accreditation bodies (like AIHA LAP) that operate in accordance with the ISO/IEC 17011 Standard.  ILAC is involved in the global accreditation of conformity assessment bodies including testing and calibration laboratories that are accredited using ISO/IEC 17025.  One of the primary purposes of ILAC is to establish an international arrangement between member accreditation bodies based on peer evaluation and mutual acceptance of data.  Over 90 accreditation bodies from over 80 economies have signed what is called the ILAC Mutual Recognition Arrangement (ILAC MRA). AIHA Laboratory Accreditation Programs, LLC and other accreditation bodies that are signatories to the ILAC MRA have been peer evaluated in accordance with ISO/IEC 17011 to demonstrate their competence and are considered recognized by ILAC.  Detailed information on the ILAC MRA including how to search for other ILAC MRA signatories can be found on the ILAC MRA and Signatories page.

Having signed the ILAC MRA in 2010, AIHA-LAP also entered into an Agreement with ILAC to use a Combined mark (pictured above) including on its accreditation certificates to allow laboratory customers to have confidence in the test data coming from AIHA LAP accredited laboratories.  That Agreement, when revised in 2015, also allows laboratories accredited by AIHA-LAP to use a Laboratory Combined Mark -- the ILAC Mark and the AIHA-LAP accredited symbol along with the AIHA-LAP laboratory ID number -- to not only demonstrate accreditation by an ILAC MRA Signatory, but to enhance laboratories’ marketing efforts. For more information on signing an AIHA-LAP Agreement to use a Laboratory Combined Mark and rules of its use, please contact Lauren Schnack.    

 

For more information on ILAC, please go to www.ilac.org​ or contact Cheryl Morton.​


 

 

NEWLY ACCREDITED LABS

 

Congratulations to Northeast Laboratory Services Inc (Lab #102960) and Analytics Corporation (Lab #100531) on their initial EMLAP accreditation achieved during the first quarter of 2018:

 

To review AIHA-LAP’s full list of newly accredited and reaccredited labs each month, click here.​​​​​​

Updated: 8/24/2018 11:55 AM