The NELAC Institute’s National Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Program (NELAP) has announced the 2016 environmental laboratory standard will become effective January 31, 2020. As with previous standard updates, this will be a “rolling implementation.” Each NELAP Accreditation Bodies (AB) will continue to recognize the accreditations of all other NELAP ABs, regardless of which standard is used to accredit its laboratories. ABs whose regulation incorporates the NELAP Standard by reference can begin accrediting to the 2016 standard on the implementation date or shortly thereafter, as soon as its data systems are updated and its assessors trained. Other ABs must conduct rulemaking to change standards, which sometimes takes far longer, so that their timing cannot be announced with certainty today. Also, this year for the first time, Florida completed its rulemaking and adopted the 2016 Standard last year, and has already announced its implementation date as April 1, 2019. Each NELAP AB will continue to recognize the accreditations of all other NELAP ABs, and secondary accreditations will continue as usual, regardless of which standard is in use by a laboratory’s AB, and without any additional proficiency testing, quality assurance, or on-site assessment requirements.
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