Links to NVLAP DocumentsNIST Handbook 150:2006, NVLAP Procedures and General RequirementsNIST Handbook 150 Checklist (Word version)NVLAP General Application FormCalibration Program Application FormNIST HB 150-2 Supplemental Checklist - Z540-1-1994, Part I (Word)NIST HB 150-2 Supplemental Checklist - ILAC-P14:12/2010 (Word)
ILAC-P14 - This new ILAC procedural document addresses policy on uncertainty of measurement. It addresses reporting of Calibration & Measurement Capabilities (CMC) on scopes of accreditation as well as calibration reports. The most significant impact of this document is its requirement that calibration laboratories place uncertainty of measurement on their calibration certificates. Previously, calibration laboratories could omit uncertainty if they placed a statement of compliance. Details on this requirement are provided in NVLAP Lab Bulletin LB-65-2012. ILAC-P14 may be viewed at this link, ILAC P14:12/2010, ILAC Policy for Uncertainty in Calibration.
Proficiency Testing Requirements
There have been significant changes to ILAC-P9, ILAC Policy for Participation in Proficiency Testing Activities, which the calibration program is working to address. One immediate impact of these changes is that new and renewing laboratories are now required to submit a proficiency testing plan with their application, as detailed in NVLAP Lab Bulletin LB-63-2011. Currently, continue to contact your program manager for guidance on this subject. Future PT Activity at NVLAP is expected to be:
This site has been established for present laboratories and applicants of the accreditation program for calibration laboratories. On this site you will find important program information and links to documents required for successful participation in the program.
The Calibration Laboratories Accreditation Program (LAP) was developed by the National Voluntary Laboratory Accreditation Program (NVLAP) at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) as a result of interest from private industry and at the request of the National Conference of Standards Laboratories (now the NCSL International). The goal of the program is to provide a means by which calibration laboratories can be assessed for competency. This voluntary program is not designed to serve as a means of imposing specific calibration procedures or minimum uncertainties on applicant laboratories; instead, the program allows for all scientifically valid calibration schemes and requires that laboratories derive and document their measurement uncertainties.
The program has 8 major fields of metrology with over 90 individual parameters. Laboratories' uncertainties range from working level to values equivalent to NIST. Our assessor base includes world renowned NIST experts in the various parameters and experts from industry. The program insures laboratories are assessed by personnel experienced in the specific parameter at, or in most cases above, the level at which the laboratories are operating.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q: What is the process for accreditation?
A: The basic steps are: lab applies for accreditation when ready with implemented quality management system; NVLAP reviews application and assigns assessment team based on parameters and uncertainties; assessment is performed; lab responds to assessment; NVLAP evaluates proficiency testing and/or inter-laboratory comparisons, evaluates responses to insure they address findings, convenes a panel, and issues a certificate and scope of accreditation.
Q: How long does it take to become accredited?
A: This varies depending on lab readiness. It has been as short as 3 months (very rare) and has extended to more than 2 years, with most falling in the 6 to 12 month range from application to accreditation. The key is to be using the quality management system prior to application as you will be expected to produce required records.
Q: How much does it cost?
A: The current application and annual administrative support fee may be found in our fee schedule. The assessment fee varies with breadth of requested scope and is obtained from a calibration program manager prior to application. Proficiency testing is highly dependent on parameter/uncertainty combinations and needs to be evaluated on a case by case basis. For laboratories in the continental United States*, NVLAP projects and invoices a fixed cost for application, administrative, and assessment. There are no surprises with added costs. There are no fees for requesting changes to scope that do not require another assessment and no added assessment fees for evaluation of your responses.
* Laboratories outside of this area are charged actual costs, which may exceed those based solely on the scope due to additional travel.
A piston gauge generates a known pressure from calibrated masses applying force onto a piston within a cylinder. The area of the piston is known either from dimensional measurements or through comparison to the pressure generated from another piston gauge.
References & InformationInternational Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC)ILAC Procedural DocumentsILAC Guidance DocumentsNational Conference of Standards Laboratories (NCSLI)NCSLI Recommended Practices (RPs)NCSLI Laboratory Management (LMs)National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)NIST TN 1297 - Guidelines for Evaluating and Expressing the Uncertainty of NIST Measurement ResultsNIST SP 330 - The International System of Units (SI)NIST SP 811 - Guide for the Use of the International System of Units (SI)NISTIR 6969 - GLP 9, Good Laboratory Practice for Rounding Expanded Uncertainties and Calibration ValuesInternational Bureau of Weights and Measures (BIPM)BIPM PublicationsBIPM Key Comparison Database (KCDB)
Related LinksNVLAP Directory of Accredited Laboratories
All state labs, federal labs M-Z, and commercial labs U-Z, contact:
Federal labs A-L and commercial labs A-L, contact:
Commercial labs M-T, contact:
Any contact can assist you in case of absence.