Certification of laboratories
Laboratory test results impact many areas of our daily lives — assurance of safe drinking water, food safety, health care, environmental monitoring, providing energy, mineral exploration, and various production processes. Government agencies and others rely on the competence of laboratories to deliver the results on which important decisions are made.
Accreditation enhances public confidence in test results and is a tool to show that labs are capable of producing accurate and defensible data. All aspects of a lab, and its operation, are evaluated by a combination of an on-site visit and a review of lab-provided documents. The entire process is designed to look at a lab's overall quality management system which includes:
- Staff qualifications
- Facility instruments and methods used
- Lab-established standard operating procedures
- Quality assurance practices
- Example client data packages
- Proficiency testing results.
Environmental laboratories that analyze environmental samples and monitoring data in Washington must receive accreditation through Ecology to ensure they are conducting analyses according to prescribed methods. Ecology and most other governmental agencies, as well as many grant providers, require that all scientific samples be assessed by an accredited laboratory. Learn specific details on how laboratories may seek and maintain accreditation in Washington by visiting our lab accreditation pages.