Quality Magazine

ACLASS Signs Agreement for Reference Material Producers

March 2, 2009

ARLINGTON, VA-The ANSI-ASQ National Accreditation Board/ACLASS has signed the Asia-Pacific Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (APLAC) mutual recognition arrangement (MRA) for reference material producer accreditation. The signing ceremony took place in conjunction with the 14th APLAC General Assembly and Technical Meetings held last December in Singapore.

The ANSI-ASQ National Accreditation Board provides accreditation services under the ACLASS and ANAB brands. Under the ACLASS brand, the organization accredits ISO/IEC 17025 testing and calibration laboratories, ISO/IEC 17020 inspection bodies and ISO Guide 34 reference material producers.

A regional cooperation of bodies that recognize laboratories, inspection bodies and reference material producers, APLAC promotes international acceptance of endorsed test, calibration and inspection reports and other documents issued by laboratories and inspection bodies accredited by signatories to the APLAC MRA.

ACLASS is one of five accreditation bodies worldwide that has been approved to sign the MRA for reference material producers, also known as RMPs. This arena encompasses potential accredited areas entailing materials use for critical and measurable properties such as biological, chemical, clinical, pharmacological, food, physical, mechanical, engineering, environmental and forensic sciences. Accredited RMPs must meet the international requirements of ISO Guide 34.

“Much of the value of RMP accreditation relates to international confidence in the RMPs themselves,” says Dr. Bill Hirt, ACLASS senior accreditation manager. “This leads to international trade assurances, and assurances that international guidelines are followed in the production, labeling and assignment of property values to the materials, including stability and homogeneity determinations.”

At the meetings in Singapore, ACLASS also was approved for continued status as an APLAC MRA signatory for calibration and testing. Approval to sign the APLAC MRAs is granted only after peer evaluation, which is conducted every four years after MRA signatory status is attained.