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Should you Accredit your Lab or not? (Cons)

by Stepan Reut

Any accreditation is a long and expensive process. If this is your first laboratory and yours very first experience with ISO 17025 accreditation, be ready that it will take 1.5 – 3 years before you can tell your client: “Yes, we are accredited”

How much does it cost? It depends on how ready you and your business are. Every year you pay member’s fees in the amount of $5000-$10000, add annual subscriptions to Proficiency Assistance Testing (PAT) $2000-$5000, and about $10000/year in wages to run QC system in accordance with ISO 17025 requirements, then $6000 every second year for the lab assessment by your accreditation body and $2000 / year in extra cost for the high-end calibration standards and services that you must use is you want to maintain ISO 17025 accreditation. Total is about $25000-$30000 per year. This is EXPENSIVE and especially painful when you start your business and revenues are not steady (if you have any revenues at all)

Accredited laboratories need to adjust their rates by 10-30% to recover the accreditation cost. This extra cost can be too much for some of your low-budget clients.

When you are accredited you need to follow the ISO 17025 standard, which limits your ability to offer experimental methods.

To summarize the above discussion: Accreditation is expensive, hard to achieve, and even harder to maintain. Talk to me, and I will help you to evaluate all PROS and CONS and to make the right decision.

If you like my interpretation of the ISO 17025 standard I can help you to navigate through other ISO 17025 requirements and prepare your laboratory for accreditation or certification. I can offer my 25 years of experience as a Laboratory Manager, Quality Manager for Canadian ISO 17025 accredited laboratories, and 5 years of experience as a laboratory Site Assessor / Auditor for one of the largest accreditation organizations. I offer online and in-person consulting. If you think that you can use my expertise, please contact me at your convenience.

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It is my personal technical blog about laboratory business. 

All content is based on my first-hand experience of being a business entrepreneur, laboratory owner, laboratory manager, QC manager, laboratory auditor, site assessor for AIHA-LAP, and a bench chemist. 
If you like what you read here, and need my help with establishing your laboratory business in Canada or your home country, please send me a message.

Truly yours,
Stepan Reut, Ph.D.
London, Ontario, Canada
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