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International Accreditation Japan

Plans & Policies for Proficiency Testing

Publication of IAJapan Proficiency Testing

IAJapan carries out laboratory accreditation programs according to procedures and organization based on ISO/IEC 17011. According to this International Standard, IAJapan requires its applicant and accredited laboratories to participate in proficiency testing. For this purpose, IAJapan announces the annual plan of proficiency testing programs that are conducted by IAJapan or recognised providers by IAJapan as competenct for IAJapan accreditation programs.

Proficiency testing programs are to be carried out periodically to supplement technical on-site assessment and confirm maintaining of technical competence of accredited laboratories. Accredited laboratories under JCSS, JNLA and ASNITE programs shall participate in proficiency testing on those major accredited sub-fields at least once every four years.

Participation fees for proficiency testing programs that are operated by IAJapan depend on individual proficiency testing program. Please refer to IAJapan. For the programs operated by the other organisations, please refer to the organisation in question.

"under coordination" in IAJapan Proficiency Testing Program Plan will be renewed as soon as details are decided.

For more information, please contact below.
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International Accreditation Japan (IAJapan)
National Institute of Technology and Evaluation (NITE)
TEL: 81-3-3481-1939
FAX: 81-3-3481-1937
E-mail: iajapan@nite.go.jp

Use of results of proficiency testing programs by IAJapan

(1)Classification of proficiency testing programs

A : Proficiency testing/interlaboratory comparison programs performed by international bodies such as APLAC or those performed/approved by signatory bodies of ILACMRA or APLAC MRA

B : Proficiency programs planned for the accreditation programs of IAJapan, and performed by IAJapan or outsourced (subcontracted) to external bodies

C: Proficiency testing programs performed by external proficiency testing providers and approved by IAJapan

D: Measurement audit performed by National Metrology Institute of Japan of National Institute (NMIJ) of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST),Japan Electric Meters Inspection Corporation and JCSS designated calibration laboratories

Signatory bodies of ILAC/APLAC MRA include accreditation bodies signed on MRA within accreditation schemes for calibration laboratory only, within accreditation schemes for testing laboratory only, and within both accreditation schemes for testing and calibration laboratories.

IAJapan uses the proficiency testing performed or approved by accreditation bodies signed within the accreditation schemes for calibration laboratories for JCSS, ASNITE(calibration laboratories and reference material producers), and those by ABs signed on MRA within the accreditation schemes for testing laboratories for JNLA and ASNITE testing, out of MRA signatory bodies.

(2)Treatment of results of proficiency testing in accreditation process

IAJapan uses result of proficiency testing program as a part of technical evaluation of laboratory in its accreditation process.

The result of proficiency testing program is taken into account together with the result of its corrective action in assessment/surveillance visit and used as a considerable element for decision making on accreditation. However, a result of proficiency testing program itself will not directly affect the decision on ac creditation or continuation of accreditation because of consideration of its contingency.

(3) Participants of IAJapan proficiency testing programs

IAJapan carries out proficiency testing programs for applicant and accredited laboratories. Laboratories who plan to apply and other laboratories can also participate in IAJapan proficiency testing program if they have experience to carried out equivalent or similar testing/calibration to that of relevant proficiency testing program. Please confirm condition on participation in individual program.

(4) Direction for laboratories of participation in proficiency testing program

(a) IAJapan requires applicant laboratory to participate in at least one of proficiency testing programs in its applying accreditation scope and get satisfactory result before accreditation.

(b) IAJapan also requires accredited laboratory to participate in proficiency testing program carried out by IAJapan/recognised by IAJapan at least once every four years, and get satisfactory result. Accredited laboratory shall participate in the proficiency testing program at the request of IAJapan.

NOTE: "participate in proficiency testing program and get satisfactory result" means that the result of proficiency testing program indicates good result and, if the result indicates unsatisfactory, appropriate technical competence of the laboratory is confirmed by objective evidence through investigation of cause and corrective actions.

IAJapan considers the performacnesof an accredited laboratory in the series of proficiency testing programs consectively conducted (e.g. the case where a laboratory have unsatisfactory results in several consecutive proficiency testing programs).

When applicant laboratory have no experience to participate in proficiency testing program and a relevance proficiency testong program is not available at the time of application, IAJapan carries out measurement audits in conjunction with on-site assessment/surveillance visit. IAJapan also requires laboratory to get satisfactory result in the measurement audit. Same conditions with the above (a) and (b) are applied to the measurement audit.

(5) Investigation of cause

If the result of proficiency testing program is "doubt" or "unsatisfactory", applicant/accredited laboratory is required to verify teh results of relevant test/calibration, investigate the cause, carry out corrective action, where necessary, and repot them to IAJapan. In addition to the above, applicant/accredited laboratory may be required to participate in another proficiency testing program and demonstrate its appropriateness of technical competence through getting satisfactory result of such proficiency testing program when IAJapan requires.