Qatar University's research laboratories have again been granted international accreditation, re-affirming their status as world-class facilities operating to best practice.
The labs, which are used by the university's Environmental Studies Center (ESC), Center of Advanced Materials (CAM) and Central Laboratory Unit (CLU), have been awarded renewal of their ISO/IEC 17025 accreditation status from the American Association of Laboratory Accreditation (A2LA). 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 international standard have demonstrated that they are technically competent and able to produce precise and accurate test data.
The A2LA is prestigious body offering programs for the accreditation of testing laboratories across the world. The research labs at Qatar University 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's research labs.
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 accreditation agencies to ensure continued technical competence and compliance with ISO 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) and LGC Standards (UK). 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).
Based on the findings of the A2LA audit in June 2012, proving that research labs at QU are completely in compliance with the accreditation requirements spelled out in ISO/IEC 17025:2005, the accreditation was reaffirmed until June 2014.
QU Vice-President of Research, Dr Hassan Al-Derham, said: "The renewal of our labs' accreditation underlines QU's commitment to world-class research. This accomplishment is a testament to the quality and competence of QU laboratory quality management systems, the personnel involved and equipment and materials used."