QU research labs achieve renewal of ISO/IEC - 17025:2005 accreditation
QU research laboratories at Environmental Science Center (ESC), Center for Advanced Materials (CAM), Central Laboratory Unit (CLU), and Gas Processing Center (GPC) have been awarded renewal of their ISO/IEC - 17025:2005 accreditation status from the American Association for Laboratory Accreditation (A2LA), re-affirming their status as world-class facilities complying to international standards and best practice.
The labs initially obtained accreditation status from A2LA in April 2010. Since then, A2LA has been conducting audits regularly to evaluate the quality management systems at QU research labs.
This accreditation demonstrates that the labs are completely in compliance with the accreditation requirements spelled out in ISO/IEC - 17025:2005. It also demonstrates technical competence and operation of a laboratory quality management system of ISO-ILAC-IAF and management system requirements of ISO 9001: 2008 standards.
As one of the essential requirements of accreditation, QU research labs are participating successfully in the proficiency testing programs with ASTM (USA), MAPEP (US Department of Energy), LGC Standards (UK), Schema (Greece), and ERA (USA). To enhance the technical competence of its employees, QU has a series of training programs run by internationally-recognized organizations such as A2LA (USA) and UKAS (UK).
Commenting on this achievement, QU Vice-President for Research and Graduate Studies Prof Mariam Al-Maadeed said: “The renewal of accreditation underlines QU’s commitment to world-class research, as well as its adherence to the highest levels of international best practice in all its research processes and lab systems and procedures. It is also an evidence of the quality and competence of quality management systems, the personnel involved and equipment used at QU research laboratories.”
QU Quality Manager Dr Mohammed Maqbool said: “The quality assurance system at QU research labs ensures the competence of staff, equipment and procedures by regularly conducting internal quality control checks, participating in proficiency testing programs, and conducting internal audits and required training for its staff.”
A2LA Auditor Justing Cheng expressed satisfaction with the functioning of both management and technical systems used in the labs, saying: “During the assessment, I found out that the staff know their tasks very well and have performed tests correctly. All of them are very professional and efficient.”
ISO/IEC 17025 is the single most important standard for calibration and testing laboratories around the world and is used in developing the management system capable of producing accurate and reliable results. Laboratories accredited to this standard have demonstrated technical competence and ability to produce precise and accurate test data.
The A2LA is a prestigious body offering programs for the accreditation of testing laboratories across the world. Accreditation is a voluntary, third party-reviewed process in which a laboratory’s quality management system is thoroughly evaluated on a regular basis by authorized accrediting agencies to ensure continued technical competence and compliance with ISO standards.