NABL is a registered society under the Societies Registration Act 1860. It operates as an autonomous body under the aegis of in the Department of Science and Technology (DST), Ministry of Science and Technology, Government of India. NABL has been established with the objective of providing Government, Industry Associations and Industry in general with a scheme of Conformity Assessment Body’s accreditation which involves third-party assessment of the technical competence of testing including medical and calibration laboratories, proficiency testing providers and reference material producers.
The laboratory accreditation services to testing and calibration laboratories are provided in accordance with ISO/ IEC 17025: 2005 ‘General Requirements for the Competence of Testing and Calibration Laboratories’ and ISO 15189: 2012 ‘Medical laboratories -- Requirements for quality and competence’. The accreditation to Proficiency testing providers is based on ISO/IEC 17043: 2010 “Conformity assessment -- General requirements for proficiency testing” and to reference material producers based on ISO Guide 34:2009 “General requirements for the competence of reference material producers.
NABL offers accreditation services in a non-discriminatory manner. NABL has established its accreditation system in accordance with ISO/ IEC 17011: 2004 Conformity Assessment – General requirements for Accreditation bodies accrediting conformity assessment bodies‟. NABL accreditation system also takes note of the requirements of Mutual Recognition Arrangements (MRAs) of which NABL is a member.
In the current global scenario an essential pre -requisite of trade is that any product or service accepted formally in one economy must also be free to circulate in other economies without having to undergo extensive re-testing. WTO recognises that non acceptance of test results and measurement data is a Technical Barrier to Trade. Global sourcing of components calls for equivalence of measurement, which can be facilitated by a chain of accredited CABs. Accreditation is considered as the first essential step for facilitating mutual acceptance of test results and measurement data.
NABL went a step further in removing technical barriers to trade and achieved the status of signatory to Asia Pacific Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (APLAC) Mutual Recognition Arrangement (MRA) and International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC) Arrangement based on a peer evaluation by APLAC in 2000. This was a major step towards mutual acceptance of test results and measurement data across Indian borders. NABL went through the peer APLAC evaluation in 2004, 2008 & 2012 and reaffirmed its APLAC / ILAC signatory status with extension of scope for Medical Testing as per the new standard ISO 15189 in 2008. Today, the test results and measurement data produced by Indian accredited CABs are acceptable amongst economies which MRA partners represent.
NABL provides accreditation in all major fields of Science and Engineering such as Biological, Chemical, Electrical, Electronics, Mechanical, Fluid-Flow, Non-Destructive, Photometry, Radiological, Thermal & Forensics under testing facilities and Electro-Technical, Mechanical, Fluid Flow, Thermal, Optical & Radiological under Calibration facilities. NABL also provides accreditation for medical testing laboratories. In addition, NABL also offers accreditation for Proficiency testing providers & Reference Material producers.