Accreditation of Laboratories

The ABA program ensures competence in the application of calibration and testing methods related to a variety of fields. Organizations wishing to become accredited by ABA must be operating their Laboratory Quality Management systems based on the requirements ISO/IEC 17025 and any local regulations as applicable.

What do Testing and Calibration Laboratories do?

A testing and/or calibration laboratory is a specialized entity that conducts precise measurements, analyses, and evaluations of materials, products, or samples to determine their properties, characteristics, or performance. They focus on verifying and adjusting measuring instruments and equipment to ensure accuracy and reliability. 

Testing laboratories perform a wide range of tests on materials, products, or samples to assess their quality, safety, compliance with standards, or suitability for specific purposes. They use sophisticated equipment, instruments, and methodologies to carry out their assessments. 

Calibration laboratories use reference standards and procedures to calibrate measuring devices, while testing laboratories use standardized methods and protocols to evaluate various attributes of materials or products. Their assessments contribute to the trustworthiness and competitiveness of businesses, as well as the protection of public health and safety.

Accreditation Criteria: ISO/IEC 17025

ISO/IEC 17025 specifies requirements for the competence, impartiality, and consistent operation of testing and calibration laboratories. Accreditation to ISO/IEC 17025 demonstrates that a laboratory has implemented a quality management system and adheres to internationally recognized technical standards and best practices. The standard covers various aspects, including the qualifications and competency of personnel, the validity and reliability of test methods, the traceability of measurements, and the suitability of equipment and facilities. Accreditation to ISO/IEC 17025 provides assurance to stakeholders that laboratory test results and calibration data are accurate, reliable, and internationally recognized.

Accreditation Process


Laboratories initiate the accreditation process by submitting an application form along with relevant documentation, such as quality manuals, procedures, and evidence of technical competence.


Accreditation bodies conduct an on-site assessment to evaluate the laboratory’s compliance with ISO/IEC 17025 requirements. This assessment includes a review of documentation, interviews with personnel, and observation of testing and calibration activities.

Review by Accreditation Committee

    The assessment findings are reviewed by the accreditation committee, which determines whether the laboratory meets the accreditation criteria. The committee may request additional information or clarification before making a decision.

    Committee Decision

    Based on the assessment findings and recommendations, the accreditation committee makes a decision regarding accreditation status. Accredited laboratories receive a certificate and are listed on the accreditation body’s official registry.

    Annual Surveillance

    Accredited laboratories undergo regular surveillance assessments to ensure ongoing compliance with accreditation requirements. These assessments may include site visits, document reviews, and proficiency testing.

    Reaccreditation at 5 Years

    Accreditation is typically valid for a specified period, usually five years. To maintain accreditation, laboratories must undergo re-accreditation at the end of this period. Reaccreditation involves a comprehensive reassessment of the laboratory’s technical competence, quality management system, and compliance with ISO/IEC 17025 requirements.

    Accreditation Scope Domains

    ISO/IEC 17025 accreditation with ABA can cover a wide range of laboratory activities, including:

    • Calibration Laboratories (ABA-L1)
    • Testing Laboratories (ABA-L2)
    • Medical Laboratories (ABA-L3)
    • Environmental Laboratories (ABA-L4)
    • Chemical Laboratories (ABA-L5)
    • Biological Laboratories (ABA-L6)
    • Food Testing Laboratories (ABA-L7)
    • Pharmaceutical Laboratories (ABA-L9)
    • Forensic Laboratories (ABA-L10)
    • Material Testing Laboratories (ABA-L11)

    Each domain represents specialized areas of laboratory testing and calibration, ensuring that accredited laboratories can meet the diverse needs of industry, government, and research organizations.

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