Calibration Laboratory Accreditation in Canada


Comeron, J. Graham; Hysert, Gary C.   (1988, ASQC)   Department of National Defence, Ottawa, Ontario; Standards Council of Canada, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Annual Quality Congress, Dallas TX    Vol. 42    No. 0
QICID: 3487    May 1988    pp. 609-613
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Article Abstract

The Canadian Department of National Defense operates a voluntary facility recognition program which permits commercial calibration laboratories to obtain recognition for services offered to the defense industrial sector. The program, which was initiated over 20 years ago, now lists a score of sources in the electrical, mechanical and physical metrological fields.

Departmental area Quality Assurance and Quality Engineering Test Establishment staff located in laboratories in the National Capital Region and Quebec City cooperate to assess the calibration system and with the aid of characterized artifacts determine if company stated measurement uncertainty objectives are being met. The Quality Assurance Headquarters recognition office publishes capabilities in graphical and tabular formats so that users of the service can "shop" for their needs by parameter, standard, instrument or gauge.

The Standards Council of Canada's (SCC) laboratory accreditation program started in 1980. The first calibration laboratory was accredited in 1984. The general criteria for accreditation of labs are based on the suitability of organizational set-up, human and physical resources, operating procedures and technical expertise. Assessment of a laboratory involves verifying the submitted documentation as well as the ability of the applicant to do the tests or make the measurements for which it is seeking accreditation. The assessment of a calibration lab includes submitting a package of characterized measurement artifacts on which the applicant performs specific measurements aimed at confirming the laboratory's measurement capabilities and uncertainty statements.

Having no laboratory facilities of its own, the SCC cooperates with the Department of National Defense (DND) and the National Research Council of Canada (NRCC) to evaluate the measurement capabilities of calibration labs. Joint assessments are undertaken with DND where a calibration lab has applied to the SCC for accreditation and to DND for recognition. Where the lab does not apply to DND for recognition, the SCC works with the Laboratory for Basic Standards at NRCC to assemble and supply a suitable measurement package. The Laboratory for Basic Stnadards is responsible for primary measurement standards in Canada.

The cooperation between DND, NRCC and SCC is excellent. It has benefited all concerned and has helped to improve the quality of measurement services offered to Canadian industry.



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