Accreditation Uncovered: The Significance of ISO 17025 and Navigating the Intricacies of Laboratory Excellence


In the world of scientific research and testing, laboratory accreditation serves as a trusted seal of quality, technical competence, and integrity. At its core, accreditation is a formal recognition of a laboratory’s ability to perform specific tests or calibrations or types of tests or calibrations. Among the array of accreditations, ISO 17025 holds a pivotal position, widely recognized and respected globally. This article delves into the concept of accreditation, the importance of being an ISO 17025 accredited lab, and the roles of accreditation bodies like the Standards Council of Canada and ILAC MRA signatories. 

Decoding ISO 17025 Accreditation 

ISO 17025 is an international standard that specifies the general requirements for the competence of testing and calibration laboratories. When a lab achieves ISO 17025 accreditation, it signifies that the lab not only operates a quality management system but also demonstrates technical competency and generates technically valid results. 

Being an ISO 17025 accredited lab is a testament to a laboratory’s commitment to quality, reliability, and technical aptitude. It underscores the lab’s ability to produce precise, accurate, and reproducible test results, which in turn, ensures client trust and a global recognition. 

Accreditation Bodies: The Role of Standards Council of Canada (SCC) 

Accreditation bodies are responsible for providing accreditation to laboratories, validating their competence and credibility. The Standards Council of Canada (SCC) is Canada’s national accreditation body, responsible for promoting standardization in the country. 

SCC’s role extends beyond accrediting laboratories. It involves accrediting the bodies that certify the management systems of organizations, products, services, personnel, and global standards development. It ensures that these accredited entities consistently meet the rigorous national and international standards, ensuring overall quality assurance. 

Unraveling the ILAC MRA Signatory 

The International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC) Mutual Recognition Arrangement (MRA) is a global cooperative agreement among accreditation bodies. ILAC MRA signatories are accreditation bodies that have been peer-reviewed and deemed competent, following the rigorous criteria set by ILAC. 

Being an ILAC MRA signatory signifies international recognition, fostering cross-border cooperation, promoting exchange and acceptance of accredited test and calibration results globally. This fosters a mutual sense of trust and minimizes the need for redundant testing in international trade, saving resources, time, and money. 

NALS and Our Scope of Accreditation 

Northern Analytical Laboratory Services (NALS) is an ISO 17025 accredited laboratory, validated by the SCC. As an accredited lab, we are dedicated to achieving the highest standards of technical competency, data quality, and professional service. 

Our accreditation encompasses the fields of Biological and Chemical/Physical testing, with a specialty in Environmental Testing (ET). Our testing capabilities are spread across several areas: 

Environmental and Occupational Health and Safety: 

  • Environmental: 
  • Air/Air Monitoring: Under ISO 15202 and NIOSH 7303 standards, we determine metals and metalloids in airborne particulate matter using inductively coupled plasma atomic emission spectrometry. Our testing parameters include Cadmium, Lead, Nickel, Manganese, and Chromium. 
  • Water Quality: We conduct comprehensive water quality testing in drinking, ground, process, recycled, and surface waters. 
  • Water (Inorganic): Using Modified EPA 200.7 and BC Ministry Metals Section C, we determine Metals and Trace Elements in Water by Inductively Coupled Plasma-Optical Emission Spectroscopy, including Barium, Boron, Cadmium, Chromium, Cobalt, Iron, Lead, Manganese, Tin, Zinc, and Total Phosphorous. 
  • Water (Microbiology): Following The Standard Method and Colilert Manufacturer’s instructions, we analyze Total Coliforms and Escherichia coli. 

We are proud of our rigorous standards and extensive testing capabilities, validated by our accreditation with the Standards Council of Canada (SCC). Curious about our services? Explore our accredited capabilities in detail at our scope of accreditation, available on the SCC website


Accreditation is a testament to a laboratory’s commitment to quality and technical excellence. At NALS, our ISO 17025 accreditation underlines our dedication to maintaining the highest levels of professionalism and service quality. We invite our clients and partners to understand our scope of accreditation and join us in upholding the values that foster scientific advancement. 

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