National Association of Testing Authorities, Australia

NATA

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Types of Accreditation

NATA provides accreditation for a wide range of testing facilities and similar bodies in such areas as pathology, diagnostic imaging, the environment, food, waters, pharmaceuticals, concrete, asbestos, toxicology, electrical equipment, IT, biotechnology, metallurgy, plastics, nuclear medicine, and many more.

NATA can also tailor its service to meet the needs of particular organisations. Indeed, NATA has a strong record of developing specialist accreditation programs for particular industry or professional needs.

More information on the process of accreditation can be found in How to become accredited.

NATA currently operates accreditation programs in more than 18 different fields and programs, including:

  • Biological Testing
  • Calibration
  • Chemical Testing
  • Construction Materials Testing
  • Forensic Science
  • Information and Communications Technology
  • Inspection
  • Mechanical Testing
  • Medical Imaging
  • Diagnostic Imaging
  • Medical Testing
  • Non-Destructive Testing
  • Performance and Approvals Testing
  • Proficiency Testing Scheme Providers
  • Recognition - Good Laboratory Practice
  • Reference Material Producers
  • Research and Development
  • Sleep Disorders Services
  • Veterinary Testing

Biological Testing

Testing in the food, water and pharmaceutical industries is essential to maintaining preventative health measures. Biological Testing accreditation gives facilities the assurance that their technical processes meet world-recognised standards. The program also includes areas such as plant health, which is ideal for quarantine and government facilities as well as private industries that deal with plants and plant products.

Calibration

NATA’s accreditation in calibration includes all calibration activities covering the parameters of Dimensional metrology, Mass and Mass related quantities, Electrical metrology, Temperature metrology, Optical metrology, Radiometry, Acoustic calibrations and Vibration calibration. Chemical calibrations and metrology are accredited under the field Chemical Testing.

Chemical Testing

Chemical testing accreditation is available to any facility that undertakes tests in areas that include metals and ores, cement and concrete, asbestos, fuels and lubricants, surface coatings, plastics, foods, agricultural products, and residues in the environment. Chemical Testing also covers calibration facilities in the areas of gas analysers for the mining and OH&S industries as well as breathalysers.

Construction Materials Testing

Construction materials accreditation is available for any facility that tests construction materials for building, road works, infrastructure and other uses. These tests include cement and clay-based products, bitumous materials, soils, surfaces, road-marking materials and rocks and aggregates.
Construction materials accreditation is ideal for road authorities, quarries, private companies and plants that produce bricks, cement or pavers.

Forensic Science Module

NATA's Forensic Science Module provides facilities with a means of establishing sample integrity through chain of custody procedures and court testimony capability. It is ideal for facilities that are exposed to legal and regulatory processes.

Information and Communications Technology

NATA's Information and Communications Technology field provides accreditation for a diverse range of software and hardware testing in such areas as gaming systems, information security evaluations and healthcare software.

Inspection

Through its inspection accreditation program, NATA provides inspection bodies with a means of demonstrating to their customers their superior inspection skills and commitment to professional excellence.
NATA inspection accreditation is available to all inspection services including in-house and independent services, from one-person operations to large-scale inspection bodies.
More information on the process of accreditation and ISO/IEC 17020 can be found in Inspection Accreditation.

Mechanical Testing

Mechanical testing accreditation covers facilities that perform the physical testing of materials and products such as metals, plastics, rubber, textiles, timber, lifting gear, pipes, valves and automotive products.

Medical Imaging

The RANZCR/NATA Medical Imaging accreditation program was launched in 2004 and is jointly administered by NATA and the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists (RANZCR).

The RANZCR/NATA program offers accreditation to sites in accordance with the RANZCR Standards of Practice for Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology. Demonstration of compliance is through a peer review process which includes on-site review. The program is open to all types of diagnostic imaging services and covers the modalities of general radiography, ultrasound, mammography, computerised tomography, interventional radiology, magnetic resonance imaging, nuclear medicine and bone mineral densitometry.

All facilities accredited under NATA's Medical Imaging accreditation scheme are automatically recognised by the Commonwealth Department of Health and Aging (DoHA) as meeting its compulsory Diagnostic Imaging Accreditation Scheme requirements.

Diagnostic Imaging Accreditation Scheme

NATA is an approved accreditor under the Commonwealth Government’s Diagnostic Imaging Accreditation Scheme.  Facilities must be assessed against the Diagnostic Imaging Accreditation Scheme Standards in order to be eligible to provide Medicare-funded services for any item under the Diagnostic Imaging Services Table (DIST) of the Medicare Benefits Schedule.

Medical Testing

The medical testing accreditation program is administered by NATA in conjunction with the Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia (RCPA).
NATA/RCPA accreditation to ISO 15189 is available to facilities performing tests in various fields of human pathology including anatomical pathology (histology and cytology), chemical pathology, microbiology, haematology, immunohaematology, cytogenetics, molecular biology, immunology and assisted reproductive technologies. The program also offers accreditation for a limited range of samples of non-human origin.
Medicare rebates for eligible pathology tests are only available to facilities holding accreditation in this field.

Non-Destructive Testing

Non-destructive testing (NDT) covers a diverse range of techniques designed for assessing the integrity of materials, most typically metals.  Applications include evaluating compliance of fabricated items with material specifications and identifying degradation which can occur during the service life of equipment or structures.  In addition to recognised NDT techniques, accreditation for limited applications of thermography and vibration analysis (which are regarded as Condition Monitoring techniques), is offered within NATA's NDT accreditation program.

Performance and Approvals Testing

The field of Performance and Approvals Testing covers primarily consumer product type testing, plus testing in the areas of fire resistance, thermal properties, high voltage and high current, lighting, sound and vibration.

Providers of Proficiency Testing Schemes

NATA accreditation of proficiency testing scheme providers enables organisations that are interested in planning, providing and evaluating proficiency testing schemes to achieve and demonstrate a level of competence.

The program provides the international testing and calibration community with a fully functional and operational system of accredited providers of proficiency testing schemes conforming to international criteria.

Full details can be found under Proficiency Testing Scheme Provider Accreditation.

Recognition of Compliance with the OECD Principles of Good Laboratory Practice

NATA makes this available to any facility doing non-clinical environmental health and safety studies required by regulations for the purpose of registering or licensing pharmaceuticals, pesticides, veterinary drug products and similar products, and for the regulation of industrial chemicals.

For more information, see OECD Principles of GLP Recognition.

Reference Materials Producers

Reference materials with certified values are widely used for the calibration of measuring instruments and for the evaluation or validation of measurement and testing procedures. Their use makes possible the transfer of the values measured (or quantities assigned) between testing, analytical and measurement facilities.

Research and Development

The benefits of research and development accreditation include a potential reduction in client audits, evidence of appropriate procedures and systems in place to satisfy funding body requirements, and greater confidence in results from organisations carrying out sub-contracted research and development activities.

Sleep Disorders Services

The Sleep Disorders Services accreditation program was launched in 2012 and is jointly administered by NATA and the Australasian Sleep Association (ASA).
The NATA/ASA program offers accreditation to services in accordance with the ASA Standard for Sleep Disorders Services. Demonstration of compliance is through a peer review process which includes on-site review. The program is open to all types of sleep disorders services and covers comprehensive Tier 1 services through to Tier 3 Diagnostic Services.

Veterinary Testing

Veterinary testing covers facilities that test animals and animal products for the diagnosis, monitoring and treatment of disease. The field can accommodate government and private facilities, veterinary practices and university veterinary schools.