What is NATA?
The National Association of Testing Authorities (NATA) is the authority responsible for the accreditation of laboratories, inspection bodies, calibration services, producers of certified reference materials and proficiency testing scheme providers throughout Australia.
NATA provides independent assurance of technical competence through a proven network of best practice industry experts for customers who require confidence in the delivery of their products and services. NATA formally recognises that these facilities produce reliable technical results which make the world a safer and more certain place.
Established in 1947, NATA is the world’s first comprehensive laboratory accreditation body, and is still one of the largest. More than 3000 facilities in Australia and around 50 other economies are NATA members. The University of Western Australia was one of the first facilities to be accredited, holding accrediation number 32. This accreditation was transferred, in an unbroken chain, to Calwest Services upon formation in 2012.
NATA accreditation benefits facilities by allowing them to determine whether they are performing their work correctly and to appropriate standards, and provides them with a benchmark for maintaining that competence. The criteria for determining a facility’s competence are based on the relevant international standard (eg ISO/IEC 17025, ISO 15189, ISO/IEC 17020) and include: the qualifications, training and experience of staff; correct equipment that is properly calibrated and maintained; adequate quality assurance procedures; appropriate sampling practices.