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Government Laboratory passes with Flying Colours 27 July 2006

The Government Laboratory, which is accredited by the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) for a representative range of its work, has received highly complimentary comments from the assessors following its annual reassessment and has successfully added to the scope of its accreditation. The Laboratory is part of the Department of Local Government and the Environment and is now located in the former Noble’s Path Lab in Ballakermeen Avenue.

The team of three UKAS assessors, whose visit to the Laboratory took two full days, examined its systems, procedures, quality control, analytical competence, staff training, reporting procedures and record keeping, following which they were most happy to reaffirm the accreditation status and add all the requested additions to scope. In concluding their visit, the assessors made their satisfaction with the Laboratory known with comments such as: “It is greatly heartening to come to a laboratory like this.” and one assessor said, “Thank you for rescuing this week!”, having come to the Island from a very disappointing visit earlier in the week .

The accreditation was conducted under the latest version of the International Standard for laboratory accreditation (ISO/IEC 17025:2005), which is more demanding than the earlier (1999) version of this standard under which UKAS is still conducting accreditations. This latest version is aligned with the general accreditation quality standard ISO 9001:2001, thus combining technical quality requirements for laboratories with quality standards for organisations. It has been agreed internationally that fulfilment of the requirements of the latest version of the standard means that the laboratory meets both the technical competence requirements and management system requirements that are necessary for it to consistently deliver technically valid test results.

The Government Analyst, Paul Lenartowicz, who heads up the Laboratory said: “I am very pleased to be able to report our ongoing accreditation status. Prior to moving to the Island last year I had worked in four laboratories that were accredited by UKAS, and know how strenuous it is to meet the demanding and ever-tightening standards required. This is the first time I have heard such glowing comments from the assessors, which reflect the dedication and commitment of the Laboratory’s staff who take the quality of their work very seriously. I thank them for that, and my predecessor Dr John Robertson, who retired last year, for establishing such a solid quality base on which to build.”

Environment Minister, John Rimington, commenting on the news, said:

“It is heartening to hear how well the Government Laboratory stands up to external, critical scrutiny. The Laboratory is a centre of scientific excellence serving the Island. The quality assurance aspect of its work is paramount, and this news confirms that quality standards are rightly being maintained.”

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