- Why should I become accredited?
- What are PJLA’s credentials for being an accreditation body?
- How can I prepare for accreditation?
- How long should I have an implemented system before I request my accreditation to be completed?
- How long is a certificate valid?
- What are the steps after I receive my accreditation?
- Can I expand my scope after I become accredited?
Why should I become accredited?
Accreditation provides the marketplace confidence that your organization has a well-established quality management system producing reliable and accurate results. Accreditation is utilized globally by various industries to confirm traceability in results. Becoming accredited symbolizes integrity and competency within your organization which provides you a market advantage over competition. Accreditation is strongly utilized by regulatory agencies as a qualifying factor to accept organizations for specific programs or schemes.
What are PJLA’s credentials for being an accreditation body?
Just as our customers, Perry Johnson Laboratory Accreditation, Inc. (PJLA) is evaluated every 4 years by our recognition body the Asia Pacific Accreditation Cooperation (APAC). This evaluation includes our adherence to ISO/IEC 17011:2017 Conforming Assessment – General Requirements for Accreditation Bodies Accrediting Conformity Assessment Bodies as well as ILAC and APAC criteria. During this same visit, PJLA may also be observed by industry regulators for any national programs we offer accreditation services for. Please visit the ILAC website at www.ilac.org or APAC website at www.apac-accreditation.org to view our credentials as a signatory to both MRAs.
How can I prepare for accreditation?
Initially organizations should purchase a copy of the standard wishing to be accredited for. This can be purchased under from the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) website at www.iso.org. A full system internal audit and a full management review shall be conducted prior to our arrival. This allows organizations to have a sufficient understanding of where any gaps are between their system and the requirements of the standard. Appropriate training shall be conducted of all pertinent personnel and records shall be available to demonstrate adherence to the standard. Organizations should ensure that the following PJLA documents are downloaded from the PJLA website and are implemented:
- PL-1 Proficiency Testing Requirements
- PL-2 Traceability Requirements
- PL-3 Measurement Uncertainty Requirements
- PL-4 Calibration Scopes of Accreditation Requirements
- SOP-1 Accreditation Procedure
- SOP-3 Use of Accreditation Claims and Symbols
- WI-8 Testing Scopes of Accreditation Requirements
- WI-9 Inspection Scopes of Accreditation
All organizations should to sign up to our receive notifications on our home page that will provide you weekly updates on any news, changes to our policies and criteria and Free Training Events. Organizations not meeting these additional requirements, will be issued a nonconformity. Additionally, PJLA offers various guidance tools and free training to assist organizations implement the requirements of the standard.
How long should I have an implemented system before I request my accreditation to be completed?
Assessors want to ensure that organizations have the necessary procedures, records, equipment, and personnel in place. The ability to witness conformity assessment activities (i.e. test, calibrations, inspections etc.) is critical during every assessment. Assessors will confirm that procedures developed are followed by reviewing records, forms, and interviewing of personnel. Equipment should be actively running during the assessment and relevant data should be available confirming the suitability of the equipment and performance of the conformity assessment activities.
How long is a certificate valid?
Certificates are valid for a 2-year accreditation cycle.
What are the steps after I receive my accreditation?
PJLA requires all organizations to conduct a surveillance visit at least 1 year after their initial accreditation assessment. This visit is a less comprehensive assessment that focuses on the maintenance of the organization’s system to the ISO standard. This includes but not limited to internal audits, management review, proficiency testing, complaints, corrective actions and a full technical review of one item listed on the scope of accreditation.
Can I expand my scope after I become accredited?
Many organizations will apply for a smaller scope of accreditation initially and later expand to include additional conformity assessment activities. Scope expansions may occur at anytime during the accreditation cycle during routine assessments or alone. Organizations interested in a scope expansion should notify their Accreditation Program Assistant/Scheduler to receive the appropriate documentation to submit.