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Accreditation Field

International Accreditation Japan

FAQs

What is IAJapan ?

What is laboratory accreditation ?

What is ILAC ? / What is APLAC ?

What is ASNITE ?

What is IAJapan ?

  1. Q1. What is IAJapan ?
    A1. IAJapan stands for International Accreditation Japan newly established in NITE from the fiscal year of 2002. Formerly each accreditation body of JNLA and JCSS had been operated separately within NITE, however, on increasing needs for accreditation programs such as MLAP or ASNITE, these 2 bodies were merged and a comprehensive accreditation body was established.
  2. Q2. Does IAJapan meet international criteria ?
    A2. JNLA, JCSS, and ASNITE accreditation programs meet the international criteria respectively. JNLA, JCSS, and ASNITE (excluding RMP and PCBs) accreditation programs are within scope of ILAC or APLAC/MRA and MLAP is currently out of the scope.

What is laboratory accreditation ?

  1. Q1. What is the difference between ISO9001 / ISO14001 certification and laboratory accreditation ?
    A1. Both of the systems have now recognized international market. Briefly, management system certification/registration based on ISO9001 or ISO 14001 is the certification system for quality/environmental management system which is applicable to broad range of area and, on the other hand, laboratory accreditation system based on ISO/IEC17025 is the system particular for evaluating competence of testing/calibration laboratories. ISO/IEC17025 specifies technical requirements for competence of a laboratory to conduct specific test/calibration as well as the requirements for management system. Even if a laboratory is certified for ISO9001, it cannot be recognized as an equivalent to an accredited laboratory under laboratory accreditation system because the laboratory is not assessed its technical competence. Demonstration of technical competence includes ensuring measurement traceability (including the estimation of measurement uncertainty), and successful participation in proficiency testing programs or interlaboratory comparisons.
  2. Q2. What is the advantages of an accredited laboratory ?
    A2. Primarily an accredited laboratory is allowed to put a special accreditation symbol of each program such as JNLA and JCSS on its test report/calibration certificate. Under ISO9001 certification scheme, laboratory cannot issue test report/calibration certificate bearing accreditation symbol on it. On the other hand, under laboratory accreditation system, the accredited laboratory can issue test reports/certificates bearing an accreditation symbol and it becomes obvious that test data comes from a competent and confident laboratory. This symbol makes it appear that the data's measurement traceability is ensured and that appropriateness of technical competence and management system of testing/calibration laboratories providing the data is assessed by a third party (accreditation body). Moreover, since IAJapan participates in international mutual recognition arrangements (e.g. APLAC/MRA, ILAC/MRA), the test reports/calibration certificates are recognised as valid worldwide in many cases.
  3. Q3. It will be helpful if accreditation certificate describes that quality system of accredited laboratory also meet the requirements of ISO9000s to avoid redundant requests of gaining ISO9001 certification form customer.
    A3. In accordance with ILAC Guidance document of ISO/IEC17025 and Clause 1 of ISO/IEC17025, the following description can be added to an accreditation certificate in JNLA , JCSS, and ASNITE upon the request from lab from April 2002. "The accredited testing (calibration) service is operated with quality system fulfilling also the principle of JIS Q 9001:2000 (ISO 9001:2000)."

What is ILAC ? / What is APLAC ?

  1. Q1. What is APLAC / MRA or ILAC / MRA ? What are the advantages of them ?
    A1. Each country has its own accreditation system for testing/calibration laboratories as same as JNLA or JCSS. ILAC is an international cooperative organisation among laboratory accreditation bodies and APLAC is a regional one in the Asia Pacific area. These organizations were established to enhance international harmonization of schemes, sharing of experience and knowledge, and mutual supports on laboratory accreditation. Their ultimate goal is achievement of an international One-Stop Testing through MRA (Mutual Recognition Arrangement). An accreditation body fulfilling respective criteria can be a member of ILAC and APLAC. However, to be a signatory to MRA, an applicant accreditation body is subject to a peer evaluation and is evaluated accreditation system's conformity to ISO/IEC 17011 and accredited laboatories' conformity to ISO/IEC17025 including validity and competence of technical aspects, such as measurement traceability, proficiency testing, and technical assessment. Therefore, being a member of MRA (signatory) symbolizes international recognition of technical appropriateness and transparency of the accreditation system.
  2. Q1. Recently production has been shifted from the domestic plants to overseas ones and our company also opens an overseas office. Is IAJapan able to accredit foreign laboratories ?
    A1. JNLA and ASNITE programs can accredit foreign laboratories although there is no actual case yet. On the other hand, there are many accreditation bodies which are signatories of ILAC/APLAC MRA all over the world. You can find information on ILAC website http://www.ilac.org/ APLAC website http://www.aplac.org/ about which accreditation body is a signatory to MRA in each country. Since ILAC made guidelines of cross-frontier accreditation, we will respect principles in the guidelines and examine such application.

What is ASNITE ?

  1. Q1. What is ASNITE ?
    A1. ASNITE is an accreditation program based not on the relevant laws to NITE's role (Industrial Standardization Law and Measurement Law, etc.) but on bilateral contractual agreement between NITE and applicant. : ASNITE program consists of many programs according to the relevant standards or guides. ASNITE Accreditation of testing laboratories provides accreditation for tests which is not covered by JNLA and is also applied to IT-Security evaluation facilities. ASNITE Accreditation of calibration laboratories provide accreditation for calibration which is not covered by JCSS (such as the case of measurement traceability is established to foreign measurement standards).