What is NABL Accreditation

National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories (NABL) is an autonomous body under the aegis of Department of Science & Technology, Government of India, and is registered under the Societies Act. Government of India has authorized NABL as the sole accreditation body for Testing and Calibration laboratories. NABL provides laboratory accreditation services to laboratories that are performing tests / calibrations in accordance with ISO/IEC 17025:2005 and ISO 15189:2007 for medical laboratories. These services are offered in a non-discriminatory manner

Benefits of NABL-ISO 17025 accreditation:

NABL-ISO 17025 accreditation has several types of benefits including internal as well as external. The majority of the practical benefits can be witnessed on your day-to-day operation in the laboratory which also enables you to improve testing competency, streamlined management, lessened challenges or glitches, and improved results. Eventually, the growing benefits of NABL-ISO 17025 accreditation can help you with not only financial benefits but also recognize you for accuracy and details. Some of the key benefits of NABL-ISO 17025 accreditation are explained below.

Internal Advantages

  • Increased confidence in the testing and calibration reports due to increased accuracy, validation, and right documentation.
  • Improved control over laboratory operations due to detailed documentation, ISO 17025 standard regulations, and other effective guidelines.
  • Improved testing competency and quality of the testing competencies and results.
  • Improved feedback from clients for the improved accuracy of the results.
  • Acquired measurable growth in business as a result of the improvement in processes and results as well as improved efficiency.
  • Streamlined internal management and consistency in operations and hence, efficiency in the internal operations.
  • Improved performance of the employees due to increased motivation.

External Advantages

  • Recognition in the national and international markets as a result of exceptional performance.
  • Enhanced customer trust and confidence because of accurate test reports and results.
  • Reduction in multiple assessments hence increased client trust and saved time.
  • Recognition in the industry for extraordinary performance.
  • Cost and time saving as a result of increased efficiency.

 Procedure for NABL Approval

Step 1- Make an application

In this step, the institution must make an application to the NABL. Along with the application, respective documents must be submitted to the NABL. An application must be made in triplicate (3 copies). Two copies must describe the quality manual of the management system. This must be in accordance with the requirement of the ISO/ IEC 17025: 2005 or ISO 15189: 2012 or ISO/IEC 17043:2010 or ISO 17034:2016.

Step 2- Payment of Fees

The applicant has to pay the respective fee, which is present under NABL 100. If an applicant does not want to make any form of information disclosures, then the same reasons must be provided to the authority.

Step 3- Receipt of Application

When the application is received by the NABL Secretariat (along with the requisite fee), a unique identification number (UIN) will be issued. The applicant must quote this number in all correspondences with the NABL.

Step 4- Pre-Assessment Visit

If there are no discrepancies in the application, then a lead assessor will be appointed to carry out a pre-assessment visit to the CAB. The assessment is carried out to understand if there are no discrepancies in the quality control adopted by the CAB. Along with this, the assessor will find out if there is any other assessment required to be carried out by the NABL.

Step 5- Submission of Report

After the evaluation is carried out by the lead assessor; a report is submitted to the Secretariat of the NABL. A copy is submitted to the Secretariat, and all the records are stored in the document management system of the Secretariat.

Step 6- Assessment Team

When the CAB has taken all the measures to correct the issues, the NABL will form a team constituted by the lead assessor, technical experts, and other individuals who are experienced in relevant fields and disciplines. The team analyses and finds out if compliance is met in accordance with the required standards. If there are any forms of discrepancies found in the CAB, then a report will be made and submitted to the Secretariat. In the report, remedies would also be included to address the discrepancies. A copy of this will be submitted to the respective CAB.

Step 7- Follow-up Action

When the NABL secretariat reviews the report, the CAB must take follow-up action. This action must be taken within 60 days of the Report of the Assessment Team. In action, the CAB must mention the corrective action it has taken to mitigate difficulties.

Step 8- Recommendations

After the follow-up action is taken by the CAB; the Accreditation Committee will make recommendations to the NABL Chairman. The Chairman’s decision is not binding, and it can be appealed to the director of the NABL.

Step 9- Grant of Certificate

When the accreditation is allowed, the NABL will send the following to the applicant:

a) Unique Identification Number;

b) Certificate of NABL Approval;

c) Hologram having the NABL signs;

d) Date of Validity of the Certificate; and

e) Discipline.

Step 10- Outstanding Amount

If the applicant has any outstanding amount to pay the NABL; the same must be made before the certificate is granted to the NABL.

Step 11- Compliance

The Applicant must ensure that compliance has to be maintained. The following compliances have to be maintained by the applicant.

a) ISO/ IEC 17025: 2005; or

b) ISO 15189: 2012; or

c) ISO/IEC 17043:2010 or ISO 17034:2016.

d) Apart from this, the applicant also has to comply with the terms and conditions of the NABL 131.