Lab testings of any kind are matters of great seriousness because the results of these testings carry a lot of weight. While carrying out a test, one must ensure that the lab has undergone the necessary quality checks.
CABs or Conformity Assessment Bodies include Medical Laboratories, Calibration Laboratories, Proficiency Testing Providers, Certified Reference Material Producer, etc. The National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration, or NABL, provides accreditation for these CABs. NABL accredited labs are labs that adhere to all the required quality standards set forth by the NABL and are thus more trustworthy.
UNDERSTANDING THE NABL
NABL is a Constituent Board of Quality Council of India. NABL is an authoritative body that gives formal recognition to different testing methods and capabilities of different CABs based on specific standards. NABL is set up to understand and verify the quality and requirements of Calibration laboratories, Medical laboratories, Proficiency Testing Providers, and Reference Material Producers.
The different types of Accreditations
Proficiency Testing Provider Accreditation gives proficiency testing legal recognition in the competition between different organisations.
Proficiency Assessment Service Accreditation also offers companies that provide skill testing, the standardised certification of competence.
Reference Material Producers Accreditation provide formal recognition and assess them based on international standards.
Laboratory accreditation is a process whereby an independent authority officially accepts technical expertise for particular tests/measurements based on third parties’ evaluations and in compliance with international norms. This accreditation can help people develop a sense of reliability and induce confidence in the customers and the general population. The laboratories adopt international standards based on the country’s globalisation and liberalisation policies by the government.
WHAT DOES THE NABL DO?
NABL conducts orientation programmes for training all its evaluators. The training program for assessors is not an open course. NABL appoints specialists to be certified as assessors based on the existing relevant field/facility criteria and the availability of previously trained assessors.
Before the accreditation award, applicant laboratories are expected to participate actively in at least one Proficiency Training program. Accredited laboratories must participate in medical research for at least one proficiency exam a year per speciality, if appropriate.
It is crucial to get NABL accreditation for CABs because it can minimise risks associated with the products and testing material.
NABL accreditation is valid for two years and does not require any expensive re-testing. The NABL follows international standards, and hence a certification can enhance the customer’s confidence. It reduces costs and improves the exporting of goods and improves the products’ reliability quotient overseas.
The different types of testing laboratories that NABL can accredit:
- Fluid flow
- Non Destructive testing
- Software and IT Systems.
The different Calibration Laboratories that NABL testing applies to:
- Fluid Flow
- Medical Devices
The different Medical Laboratories NABL accredited:
- Clinical Biochemistry
- Clinical Pathology
- Haematology & Immunohaematology
- Microbiology & Infectious Disease Serology
- Nuclear Medicine (in-vitro tests only)
- Molecular Testing
- Flow Cytometry
- Medical Imaging – Conformity Assessment Bodies (MI-CAB)
The list of all NABL accredited labs is put up on their site for the general public and industries to access, which will help them choose the right establishment. Three thousand four hundred twenty-two labs were listed on the website in the year 2020.
This accreditation can help people develop a sense of reliability and induce confidence in the customers and the general population. The laboratories adopt international standards based on the country’s globalization and liberalization policies by the government.
It takes about 90 days for an adequately prepared CAB to get accredited, and some institutions take even fewer days. It is required for the labs to re-accredit six months before the two years of validity gets over.
THE MAIN OBJECTIVES OF THE GOVERNMENT BEHIND THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE NABL:
- Making sure the public at large is protected, and no harm befalls them.
- Taking the environmental factors and including required additions or cutting off anything to protect the environment.
- Developing and maintaining existent guidelines based on necessity.
- Following proper requirements and regulations.
- Deciding on the right resources required to maintain an optimal state for the lab is financial or technical.
Accredited CAB can benefit the government and the regulators in the following ways:
- It increases the reliability of the data these labs provide, and it can establish baselines and critical attributes in several fields.
- There are specific rules in place for the protection of the environment. The need for accreditation ensures that the labs abide by them, which helps reduce uncertainties based on the effects of the laboratories on the environment.
- It would increase the public’s confidence in the laboratory if NABL accredited it.
- It helps in removing any false reviews and prevents the public from blindly choosing institutions.