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Quality management in the testing laboratory

Introduction

The Radiation Safety and Monitoring Section (RSM) is responsible for, inter-alia, the operation of the testing laboratory for radiation protection monitoring of the IAEA. The monitoring encompasses all IAEA staff, individuals under contract, experts, trainees and visitors who may be exposed to radioactive materials or other sources of ionizing radiation.

This quality management system is based on:

  • ISO17025, the international standard "General requirements for the competence of testing and calibration laboratories"
  • GS-R-3 "The management system for facilities and activities" which is the IAEA Safety Standards requirements document for management systems
  • GS-G-3.1, "Application of the management system for facilities and activities", the IAEA generic guidance document on implementation of a management system.

To confirm the efficiency of staff, processes and equipment, the quality management system was submitted to the Austrian accreditation board for assessment. It was duly accredited in December 2006 and rechecked by an surveillance audit in November 2007. The new accreditation certificate, valid until November 2011, was issued in January 2008.

This is the first accreditation of a testing laboratory within the IAEA and within the whole UN family. It is already used by Member States as a model for their implementation of a quality management system for their service suppliers.

This accreditation is recognized worldwide through the mutual recognition agreements with the European Cooperation for Accreditation (EA) and the International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC).

Measurement methods

The testing laboratory is accredited for operating 13 methods in the individual and workplace monitoring field of expertise. Each method was validated as required by ISO17025 to prove its capability of producing correct results. This has been certified by the accreditation process.

Safety publications

The knowledge gained during the process of accreditation has been used to create a specific guidance documents for similar services in the MS to help them in the implementation of their quality management systems.

Training package

A training package on implementation of a quality management system into monitoring services in the MS has been developed, and regional and interregional training courses are provided upon request by the Member States.

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| Last update: Tuesday, 09 December, 2014.