Why NATA

Why use a NATA accredited laboratory?

NATA Accreditation is about confidence – yours and that of your customers – in the data and information on which you must make informed decisions. NATA Accreditation covers those activities that produce this technical/scientific data and information. In NATA’s vocabulary, accreditation has a very specific meaning. A procedure by which an authoritative body gives formal recognition that a body is competent to carry out specific tasks.

Hence, NATA Accreditation is a high level process of recognising collective, specific and demonstrated competencies. The core of NATA Accreditation is the third party, objective, peer assessment process at a scientific and technical level that provides assurance of the laboratory’s capability to produce reliable data from particular measurements. The NATA Accreditation Criteria include the international standard ISO/IEC 17025 General requirements for the competence of testing and calibration laboratories used globally for laboratory accreditation.

In addition to confidence, NATA Accreditation provides you with:

  • an ability to outsource to an independent, objective authority the monitoring of laboratory performance;
  • international arrangements providing for the mutual recognition of data produced by laboratories accredited by NATA and equivalent accreditation bodies globally;
  • a resource to resolve disputes relating to accredited laboratory services.

WHAT CALIBRATION ACTIVITIES ARE ACCREDITED BY NATA?

NATA accredits calibration activities performed in laboratories, mobile
facilities and in situ for a broad range of disciplines including:

  • Dimension metrology (Length)
  • Speed
  • Mass & weighing equipment
  • Electrical low frequency metrology
  • Volume and Density
  • Magnetism
  • Flow
  • Time and frequency
  • Pressure
  • Communications, EMR and EMC
  • Force
  • Temperature metrology
  • Torque
  • Acoustics
  • Optics
  • Vibration
  • Ionising radiation
  • Ultrasonics
  • Chemical metrology
  • Biological metrology

ILAC (International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation) is the international authority on laboratory and inspection body accreditation. The ILAC MRA Mark is associated with the ILAC Mutual Recognition Arrangement (MRA). NATA is a signatory to this MRA. The use of this mark is voluntary though its use by NATA and NATA accredited facilities is strongly encouraged by ILAC. NATA accredited facilities whose accreditation activities are covered by the scope of NATA’s ILAC MRA signatory status may use the ILAC MRA Mark in conjunction with the NATA emblem. This now includes Inspection Body Accreditation and Medical Testing. This Mark is known as the Accredited CAB Combined ILAC MRA Mark.

Please see the following web links for more information regarding Ilac MRA:

https://ilac.org/ilac-mra-and-signatories/
https://www.nata.com.au/about-nata/global-trading-network/265-benefit-from-ILAC-MRA
https://www.nata.com.au/19-nata-news-archive/163-the-accredited-cab-combined-ilac-mra-mark

NATA is a signatory to the ILAC mutual recognition arrangement for the mutual recognition of the equivalence of testing, calibration and inspection reports (for those who need international recognition of the reported results).

NATA-endorsed vs unendorsed reports – cost / benefit?

NATA requires that all activities described in the scope of accreditation are performed using exactly the same processes and to the same level of confidence whether reported on a NATA-endorsed report or not. Some laboratories do, however, apply a surcharge to issue an endorsed report for commercial or marketing reasons.
For you as the customer, the NATA-endorsement is there to provide prima facie evidence that the measurement results within the report have been issued under the laboratory’s NATA Accreditation. Hence, you can have the confidence that the calibrations have been undertaken by competent staff using sound science/engineering as verified by NATA’s peer assessment processes.
Similarly, your own customers and auditors (if your business is subject to some form of external oversight) may share this confidence. If you require international recognition of your calibration
report or it is to be used for the purposes of legal metrology, the NATA-endorsement will be essential.