Accreditation and Quality Assurance

, Volume 22, Issue 2, pp 57–62 | Cite as

Current American landscape in laboratory accreditation according to ISO/IEC 17025

  • Inês Hexsel Grochau
  • Carla Schwengber ten Caten
  • Maria Madalena de Camargo Forte
Practitioner's Report


The number of laboratories worldwide seeking accreditation has increased considerably in the last years. These laboratories are from different institutions, some of them higher education institutions (HEIs) and research institutes. The aim of this work is to present the current landscape of accreditation of testing and calibration laboratories, according to ISO/IEC 17025 standard, in the American Continent (North, Central and South America). Data on accredited laboratories were taken from the Web sites of accreditation bodies signatories to the International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation Mutual Recognition Arrangement. The accredited laboratories were classified by institution type. Countries with a high number of accredited HEI laboratories were identified, as well as a correlation between gross domestic product and total number of accredited laboratories. North American countries have the highest total numbers of accredited laboratories, except for Brazil in South America. This survey highlights strategies and activities adopted in some countries that resulted in high number of accredited HEI laboratories.


University testing laboratory Laboratory accreditation ISO/IEC 17025 American Continent 



The authors gratefully acknowledge the financial support from the Brazilian Agencies Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior—CAPES, and Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico—CNPq.


  1. 1.
    International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation—ILAC (2015) The ILAC mutual recognition arrangement. Accessed 11 Apr 2016
  2. 2.
    International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation—ILAC (2015) Facts and figures. Accessed 11 Apr 2016
  3. 3.
    Zapata-García D, Llauradó M, Rauret G (2007) Experience of implementing ISO 17025 for the accreditation of a university testing laboratory. Accred Qual Assur 12:317–322CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Cammann K, Kleiböhmer W (1998) Need for quality management in research and development. Accred Qual Assur 3:403–405CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Vermaercke P (2000) Sense and nonsense of quality assurance in an R&D environment. Accred Qual Assur 5:11–15CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    De Vré RM (2000) The scope and limitations of a QA system in research. Accred Qual Assur 5:3–10CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Krapp M (2001) Quality assurance in research and development: an insoluble dilemma? Fresenius J Anal Chem 371:704–713CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Rodima A et al (2005) ISO 17025 quality system in a university environment. Accred Qual Assur 10:369–372CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Fernandes De Nadai et al (2006) Quality system implementation in a Brazilian university laboratory. Accred Qual Assur 10:594–598CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Grochau IH et al (2010) Implementation of a quality management system in university test laboratories: a brief review and new proposals. Accred Qual Assur 15:681–689CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Rossbach M et al (2006) Quality system implementation in Member States of the IAEA. Accred Qual Assur 10:583–589CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Vajda N et al (2006) On the way to formal accreditation. Accred Qual Assur 10:599–602CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Lopes I et al (2014) Implementation of the quality management system at the Laboratory of Radiological Protection and Safety (LPSR) in Portugal. Accred Qual Assur 19:355–360CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    ISO/IEC 17025 (2005) General requirements for the competence of testing and calibration laboratories, International Organization for Standardization (ISO), GenevaGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation—ILAC (2016) List of ILAC MRA signatories. Accessed 6 Apr 2016
  16. 16.
    The World Bank Group (2016) GDP ranking. Accessed 10 May 2016
  17. 17.
    Gobierno de la República Mexicana. Reglamento Interior de La Secretaría de Médio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales (2012) Accessed 6 Jul 2016
  18. 18.
    Gobierno de la República Mexicana. CONACYT. Accessed 20 Dez 2016
  19. 19.
    Vicerrectoría de Investigación de la Universidad de Costa Rica. Programa de Cooperación para la Acreditación de Ensayos y Laboratorios de la Universidad de Costa Rica. Accessed 23 May 2016
  20. 20.
    Universidad de Chile. Proyecto Acreditación de Laboratórios de la Universidad de Chile. Accessed 10 May 2016
  21. 21.
    Ministerio de Vivienda y Urbanismo – Chile (2016) Decreto 458, Ley General de Urbanismo y Construcciones. Accessed 4 Apr 2016
  22. 22.
    Instituto de la Construcción – Chile (2006) Descripción del Sistema Actual de Certificación de Materiales e Insumos para la Construcción. Accessed 4 Apr 2016
  23. 23.
    Ministerio del Ambiente—Ecuador (2015) Acuerdo nº 061 Reforma del Libro VI del Texto Unificado de Legislación Secundaria. Accessed 5 Jul 2016
  24. 24.
    Universidad Nacional de Colombia (2014) Convocatorias y Programas de Apoyo Del Plan de Acción 2013-2015. Accessed 23 May 2016
  25. 25.
    República de Colombia. Ministerio de Comercio, Industria y Turismo Colombia (2015). DECRETO nº 1595. file:///C:/Users/User/Downloads/decreto_1595_de_2015.pdf. Accessed 23 May 2016Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Ministerio de Ciencia, Tecnología e Innovación Productiva—Argentina (2011) Resolución Nº 760/11. Accessed 20 Dez 2016
  27. 27.
    Ministerio de Ciencia, Tecnología e Innovación Productiva—Argentina (2013) Resolución Nº 580/13. Accessed 20 Dez 2016
  28. 28.
    UNILAB – Sistema de Reconocimiento de Competencias Técnicas de Laboratorios Universitarios. Accessed 5 Jul 2016
  29. 29.
    Ministério da Ciência e Tecnologia – Brazil (2008) Chamada Pública MCT/FINEP - Ação Transversal - Serviços tecnológicos - Sibratec 01/2008. Accessed 6 May 2016

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Inês Hexsel Grochau
    • 1
  • Carla Schwengber ten Caten
    • 1
  • Maria Madalena de Camargo Forte
    • 1
  1. 1.Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do SulPorto AlegreBrazil

Personalised recommendations