Local laboratories to be tested
February 12, 2010

Local laboratories to be tested

Testing of laboratories operated by local companies and organizations will soon be required so that they conform to international standards by becoming ISO/IEC 17025 compliant.{{more}}

This is the internationally accepted standard to be used by laboratories, which in turn will allow companies to be able to compete globally.

The desired goal of ISO/IEC 17025 is to implement a quality system aimed at getting laboratories to consistently produce valid results.

Stakeholders representing various companies and organizations were involved in a two-day training workshop designed to get them to begin thinking of becoming accredited.

“Lab results must be as accurate as possible. Therefore, all aspects of lab work must be accurate and timely in order to be useful,” Ezra Ledger, Director of the St Vincent and the Grenadines Bureau of Standards, said during the opening session on Wednesday, February 3.

“To successfully achieve lab quality, a recognized quality management system should be in place to consistently coordinate and control all activities of the lab, and on this basis, ISO/IEC 17025 is internationally recognized as the benchmark for lab quality,” he continued.

“This is something we have to take seriously,” said Giselle Guevara, Project Coordinator with the Caribbean Laboratory Accreditation Service (CLAS) as she referred to the positive attributes associated with becoming accredited.

She outlined the requirements for becoming accredited. These include a written management system, which is evidence that the facility is performing its duties correctly, as well as having staff properly trained.

“Once all systems are in place, the company can then apply for accreditation,” Guevara said.

She spoke of the importance of enacting legislation in order to get companies to comply, especially medical companies to become accredited to ensure accuracy of diagnoses.

There are currently 10 laboratories across the region already accredited and, according to Guevara, the desired aim was to get all on board.