The Public Health Agency of Canada National Laboratory for HIV Reference Services (NLHRS) today became the first facility to be accredited by the Standards Council of Canada (SCC) as part of its national Medical Laboratories Accreditation Program.
“Through independent, third-party verification, SCC and its partners assist laboratories in ensuring the delivery of dependable and credible services that are based on the highest standards of quality," said Pat Paladino, Director, Conformity Assessment for the Standards Council. “SCC congratulates the National Laboratory for HIV Reference Services for its achievement, and their commitment to consistent and reliable testing practices.”
SCC, through its joint national medical laboratory accreditation program with the Ontario Medical Association (OMA) and Bureau de normalisation du Québec (BNQ), provides formal recognition of a laboratory’s technical competence. The program combines rigorous testing requirements and adherence to recognized standards, including the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) standard, ISO 15189: 2003 Medical laboratories -Particular requirements for quality and competence.
“Achieving ISO 15189 Accreditation is an important milestone for the National HIV/AIDS Laboratory,” adds Dr. Paul Sandstrom, Director of National HIV and Retrovirology Laboratories. “It signifies our ongoing commitment to ensure Canadians receive the highest level of quality and professional service capable of withstanding scrutiny at any level.”
The National Laboratory for HIV Reference Services (NLHRS) provides HIV and HTLV (Human T-cell Leukaemia Virus I/II) serology and molecular reference services in support of testing programs conducted by provincial ministries of health and the Canadian Blood Services. The NLHRS also provides expertise and guidance to international communities, assisting with the development and implementation of quality assurance programs in their own countries.
The Ontario Medical Association (OMA), founded in 1880, plays a vital role in the development and promotion of health-care services across Ontario. The OMA operates the Quality Management Program - Laboratory services (QMP-LS), which has over 30 years of experience in quality assurance of medical laboratories. Its Ontario Laboratory Accreditation program has accredited about 230 medical laboratories.
The Bureau de normalisation du Québec is an agency of the Government of Québec. It is accredited by the Standards Council of Canada as a standards development organization, a product certification body and a management systems certification body. For more than 15 years and in accordance with its Establishment Order, BNQ has been engaged in activities aimed at recognizing laboratory competence. For additional information on BNQ visit www.bnq.qc.ca.
The Standards Council of Canada (SCC) is a Crown corporation that promotes efficient and effective voluntary standardization in Canada. The SCC coordinates Canada's participation in the development of international standards and, as Canada's national standardization body, oversees the efforts of the National Standard System. Its Program for Accreditation of Laboratories - Canada (PALCAN) has accredited about 400 laboratories in a variety of general testing and specialty areas. For more information on the Standards Council of Canada, visit www.scc.ca or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.