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Changes to State Laboratory Support for NVLAP Accreditation

NIST OWM upholds a principal directive to facilitate, enable, and ensure the state legal metrology community in achieving national uniformity and maintaining the highest level of measurement practices across all U.S. states and regions. OWM’s Laboratory Metrology program accomplishes this by providing state laboratory metrology programs with three principal services: 1) access to intensive, in-person and online laboratory metrology training, documentary standards, and technical guideline documents; 2) a proficiency testing (PT) program for demonstrating competency and uniformity with other laboratories in accordance with ISO/IEC 17043; and 3) a comprehensive recognition program that assess participants for compliance with ISO/IEC 17025. As an acknowledgement of laboratory performance and capabilities, OWM has encouraged and provided full financial support for state metrology laboratories seeking accreditation through NIST’s National Voluntary Laboratory Accreditation Program (NVLAP) that is a signatory of the International Laboratory Accreditation Corporation (ILAC) Mutual Recognition Arrangement (MRA).

Given current budgetary constraints, OWM will only be able to provide partial financial support to state metrology laboratories to cover NVLAP accreditation fees. OWM will continue to support the fees associated with the NVLAP laboratory onsite assessments which is a natural extension of the OWM recognition program. Effective April 1, 2024, it will be necessary for state laboratory programs to cover the cost of the base administrative fees that are used to support the annual maintenance of the accreditation. This fee is a set equal amount to every laboratory accredited by NVLAP. For more information regarding the NVLAP base administrative fee, please contact NVLAP Program Manager Rob Knake directly at robert.knake [at] (robert[dot]knake[at]nist[dot]gov).

NIST OWM’s goal is to support all state laboratory metrology programs to The certificate of metrological traceability provided by the OWM recognition and the NVLAP accreditation programs demonstrates the laboratory is producing SI traceable measurement results with a quality management system in compliance with ISO/IEC 17025. NVLAP accreditation offers the laboratory an additional level of credibility and is required for some customers that need an accredited non-legal for trade calibration. It is incumbent on each state laboratory to determine if this is required to support their individual services.

Further, Please feel free to contact us directly at katrice.lippa [at] (katrice[dot]lippa[at]nist[dot]gov) (OWM Chief) and micheal.hicks [at] (micheal[dot]hicks[at]nist[dot]gov) (Laboratory Metrology Program Leader) for more information. 

Created January 3, 2024