The Accreditation Process should be logical and based on standards, without prejudice or time concerns.
NAC adheres strictly to the protocols defined in ISO/IEC 17011 and has developed an approach based on experience and feedback from laboratories.
Responding to Nonconformities
Review and Decision
If you wish to transfer your accreditation from another Accreditation Body, please read the transfer process in PR 017 Procedure for the Accreditation of Conformity Assessment Bodies.
Initial Application for Accreditation
Once we receive your completed and signed application form along with the application fee, we will appoint a Case Officer to be your point of contact throughout the application process.
The Case Officer will contact you to arrange the following documents to be provided to NAC:
Intended scope of accreditation - testing
Intended scope of accreditation - calibration
List of authorized signatories
Test methods to be included in the proposed accreditation scope
List of test and calibration equipment related to the scope
Details of in-house calibration (if performed)
Details of proficiency testing / measurement checks / comparison tests performed
Sample reports issued by the facility
Quality system policies and procedures
Additions to the scope of accreditation proposed during the initial application process may require additional assessment resources or assessment time and therefore require a modified fee proposal.
Document review is performed off-site by a NAC Assessor, assisted by a NAC Case Officer as needed.
The document review aims to determine whether the laboratory's management system and procedures support the proposed scope of accreditation and comply with ISO/IEC 17025.
Nonconformities obtained from document review are reported to you. Nonconformities that arise during the document review phase will need to be addressed before proceeding with the Onsite Assessment.
Document review gives NAC a clear understanding of your lab systems, how your organization is structured, and of course, people’s duties in the lab.
After the document assessment, when you are ready, we will visit you and conduct an application assessment using your procedures and standard as a reference.
The duration of the Initial Assessment will be in accordance with the proposal, provided that no change in time is suggested as a result of application and document reviews.
The Initial Assessment will be done by a NAC Assessor assisted by a NAC Case Officer. The NAC Assessor will focus on laboratory management systems and the NAC Case Officer will focus on the facility's technical capability, including precision and measurement uncertainty, as appropriate.
The scope of the Initial Assessment will cover your proposed scope as defined in the application.
The NAC assessment team will prepare a list of Nonconformities during the assessment and present the Nonconformities and recommendations to management at the closing meeting.
Following the assessment, the NAC Lead Assessor will produce a report that will address all relevant aspects of the standards. The report will be submitted to both you and the relevant committee for your review.
The onsite assessment will be structured according to the plan we sent you in advance and will begin with a opening meeting for Management and Personnel where we will introduce the plan and objectives.
The NAC team will then conduct a hands-on assessment of the laboratory and discuss their work with personnel and management. Interviews are designed to provide every opportunity for your employees to showcase their skills and discuss their work, and are conducted in a pleasant, conflict-free atmosphere.
At the end of the assessment, we will hold a closing meeting where our Nonconformances are presented.
NAC's assessment report consists of two parts - a list of Nonconformities and a full report.
List of nonconformities; Each nonconformity indicates what was observed and why it did not comply with the Standard. The nonconformity is indicated by the article number of the Standard so that you can understand its content.
The full report comes within two weeks after the assessment. The full report will cover all aspects given in the inspection plan and will include positive observations as well as repeating the list of Nonconformities left to you during the onsite assessment.
You will always be given the opportunity to review the report and submit your comments or corrections to NAC.
Responding to NAC's nonconformities
Non-conformances are examples of non-compliance with the accreditation Standard, but more importantly, opportunities for improvement in laboratory systems and reduction of risk to the body due to incorrect or inconsistent test or calibration results.
NAC applies a quality-based approach to Non-conformities. We will always approach nonconformities in terms of continuous improvement so you can expect a NAC non-conformity to be an opportunity for you to improve your business.
NAC also expects you to approach Non-conformities in a positive way when you address them. The best advice we can give you is to follow the fix|root cause|corrective action pattern.
Review and Decision
After nonconformities are addressed and closed, the assessment team's recommendation will be reviewed by NAC's Accreditation Decision Committee. The committee consists of independent and impartial representatives of society, industry and universities.
When reviewing the Committee's report, it should take into account the recommendation of the Assesment Team. The decision is made within three weeks and will include the rationale for any decision that disagrees with the NAC assessment team.
All members of NAC's Accreditation Decision Committee are familiar with laboratory procedures and have accreditation experience. Committee members are not active laboratory personnel, but stakeholders who share a common commitment to excellence in the world's testing and calibration industry.