Selecting an analytical laboratory is influenced by many factors.
Of primary consideration is selection of a laboratory that participates in Laboratory Accreditation Programs such as the International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC), American Industrial Hygiene Association Laboratory Accreditation Programs (AIHA-LAP), American Association for Laboratory Accreditation (A2LA) and/or the National Voluntary Laboratory Accreditation Program (NVLAP). You may ask laboratories to provide you documentation of accreditation by these and other organizations.
Other factors to consider when selecting a laboratory include
- Does the laboratory perform the required analysis?
- What are my requirments for quality assurance and does the laboratory quality assurance meet these requirements?
- Does the laboratory analyze samples and report results within my required turnaround time? What extra charges to I accept to obtain sample results faster?
- Does the analytical report contain the information I need?
- Are detection limits reported and are they sufficiently low?
- Are analytical costs acceptable?
- Does the laboratory provide the client services I desire?
- Am I confident in the results provided?
These questions represent basic questions that should be considered when selecting a laboratory.
* Adapted from www.osha.gov.