NATA signs new five-year MOU with Commonwealth of Australia


Wednesday, 03 July, 2024

NATA signs new five-year MOU with Commonwealth of Australia

The National Association of Testing Authorities (NATA) has signed a new memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Australian Department of Industry, Science and Resources. The MOU commits NATA to operate all accreditation programs, including those supporting international trade, in compliance with ISO/IEC 17011 — the international standard for accreditation of conformity assessment bodies.

Under the MOU, the Australian Government recognises NATA as Australia’s national authority for the accreditation of laboratories, reference materials producers, proficiency testing providers and biobanks, and a peak authority for the accreditation of inspection bodies. The government also recognises NATA as Australia’s compliance monitoring authority of the OECD Principles of Good Laboratory Practice.

The first MOU of this kind was signed back in 1988, with the latest recognising NATA as the national authority for the accreditation of proficiency testing providers as well as biobanks. Biobanking is an update to previous MOUs, following NATA’s recognition in 2023 by the Asia Pacific Accreditation Cooperation as one of only two accreditation bodies globally to be evaluated and formally recognised for these activities.

“NATA is proud to not only be confirmed as the national authority for laboratory accreditation and producers of reference materials, but also now the national authority for accreditation of proficiency testing scheme providers and biobanks,” said NATA CEO Jennifer Evans.

This agreement demonstrates a strengthened and ongoing relationship between the Australian Government and NATA, acknowledging that confidence in the reliability of testing results is a prerequisite for sound decision-making by government, business and individuals. It also facilitates the exchange of strategic information to ensure the availability of accredited infrastructure to meet current and emerging needs.

Under the arrangement, the Australian Government commits to communicating with the accreditation body over matters of national interest that require NATA’s engagement. NATA has a number of additional MOUs and formal agreements across federal and state/territory government agencies.

“For more than 36 years, NATA has offered the reassurance in laboratory testing for the Commonwealth Government in Australia and now we continue that journey into new fields such as biobanking,” Evans said. “This latest MOU continues to provide confidence for industry and a hidden safety net for all Australians.

“As the world’s oldest accreditation body, NATA has and will continue to serve the nation and public’s best interests, as we have for the best part of eight decades.”

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