Testing and Calibration Laboratory accreditation is a process by which an authoritative body gives formal recognition of technical competence for specific tests/ measurements, based on third-party assessment and following the international standard.
Laboratory accreditation is a process by which an authoritative body gives formal recognition of technical competence for specific tests/ measurements, based on third-party assessment and following the international standard.
In the current global scenario, an essential pre-requisite of trade is that any product or service accepted formally in one economy must also be free to circulate in other economies without having to undergo extensive re-testing. WTO recognizes that non-acceptance of test results and measurement data is a Technical Barrier to Trade. Global sourcing of components calls for equivalence of measurement, which can be facilitated by a chain of accredited calibration laboratories.
Accreditation is considered as the first essential step for facilitating mutual acceptance of test results and measurement data. Confidence in accreditation is obtained by a transparent system of control over the accredited laboratories and an assurance given by the accreditation body that the accredited laboratory fulfills the accreditation criteria, at all times.
Accredited laboratories can objectively state conformance of product or service to specified requirements. It is important for the purchaser, regulator, government, and the public to be able to identify accredited testing and calibration laboratories.
KENAS testing and calibration has been established with the objective to provide laboratories in general with a scheme for third-party assessment of the quality and technical competence of testing and calibration laboratories to carry out specific testing, measurements and calibrations. The government of Kenya has authorized KENAS as the sole accreditation body for Testing and Calibration laboratories.
The globalization of the Kenyan economy and the liberalization policies initiated by the Government in reducing trade barriers and providing greater thrust to exports makes it imperative for Accredited Laboratories to be at international level of competence.
For Accreditation, the laboratories should be legally identifiable & appropriately registered. They can be a part of a big organization or an independent entity. KENAS can provide accreditation to:
Laboratories undertaking any sort of testing or calibration in the specified fields.
Private or government laboratories.
Small operations to large multi-field laboratories.
Site facilities, temporary field operations and mobile laboratories.
Classification of the Testing Laboratories has been done on the basis of basic fields of testing. The laboratories doing inter-disciplinary testing of products, for e.g. textiles, plastics, building materials, metallurgical products, shall have to apply in relevant field(s) separately depending upon to which field(s) the test(s) belongs.
The accreditation granted to a laboratory shall remain valid for a period of 3 years subject to satisfactory periodical (annual) surveillance. Laboratory also has an option to increase the scope of accreditation in terms of specific tests and calibrations. KENAS has established policies and procedures for granting, suspending and withdrawal of accreditation of accreditation in accordance with ISO/IEC 17011
Directory of KENAS Accredited Laboratories is published at regular interval, which contains laboratories’ contact details and information on their Scope of Accreditation.
Formal recognition of competence of a laboratory by an Accreditation body in accordance with international criteria has many advantages: