What is Accreditation?
We can tell you we know what we’re doing, but how can you be certain?
Accreditation is a voluntary, third party-review process. As part of accreditation, our laboratory’s quality management system and technical procedures are thoroughly evaluated on a regular basis by an impartial, qualified accreditation representative to ensure continued technical competence and compliance with ISO 17025.
Our accreditation is your “peace of mind” and it gives you international acceptance of the work we do for you. Our A2LA Scope of Accreditation covers most of our technical capabilities. In particular, our accreditation gives you formal assurance that we have been judged by an internationally recognized third party (A2LA) and that within our Scope of Accreditation have been found to meet their stringent technical requirements.
Accredited by A2LA to ISO/IEC 17025-2005 and Z540.1
View our scope and certificate for each lab:
What is Proficiency Testing (PT) & Inter-Laboratory Comparison (ILC)?
Proficiency testing is the process of determining laboratory performance by comparing & evaluating calibrations or test results obtained on the same or similar materials (specimens) between two or more laboratories in accordance with predetermined conditions. It is used by accreditation bodies to assess technical competence and to ensure compliance to published quality standards, and to ensure conformance to uncertainties stated in scopes of accreditation. It is also useful in monitoring a laboratory’s performance for specific tests & measurements, to monitor continuing performance, and to identify process improvement opportunities.
Inter-laboratory comparison provides the opportunity to assist in developing a laboratory’s uncertainties, provide cross-training for laboratory personnel and check individual testing performance, and to establish a correlation between labs.
Wescan has partnered with National Association for Proficiency Testing to ensure technical consistency between our laboratories, and to meet the requirements of our ISO/IEC 17025 accreditation.
ISO/IEC 17025 Accreditation versus ISO 9001 Certification
While it may be an effective management evaluation tool, ISO 9001 assessors do not evaluate the technical competence of a laboratory. This means certification to ISO 9001 does not assure you that the test, inspection, or calibration data received from that laboratory are accurate and reliable.
Unlike ISO 9001 certification, ISO/IEC 17025 accreditation uses criteria and procedures that have been specifically developed to determine technical competency and that are internationally recognized. Technical assessors conduct a thorough evaluation of all the factors in a facility that may affect the accuracy and repeatability of measurement data, and address factors that are relevant to a laboratory’s ability to produce precise, accurate test and calibration data. ISO/IEC 17025 and ANSI/NCSL Z540-1 accreditation also cover the quality system elements that are addressed in ISO 9001 certification.
In keeping with calibration & testing laboratory industry practices, Wescan Calibration no longer maintains ISO 9001 certification. However, Wescan remains committed to total compliance with all elements of ISO 9001 certification as they are encompassed by the ISO/IEC 17025 Accreditation requirements.
Please see the attached joint IAF-ILAC-ISO communiqué on the Management System Requirements of ISO/IEC 17025 and how they relate to ISO 9001.
Controlled Goods Program (CGP)
Wescan Calibration laboratories in British Columbia and Alberta are registered in the Controlled Goods Program (CGP) and certified by the Controlled Goods Directorate (CGD) of the Department of Public Works and Government Services Canada.
The Controlled Goods Program enforces the Defense Production Act and the objective of the program is to safeguard controlled goods in Canada and ensure that those who have access to controlled goods are authorized.