Why Choose USAPHCR-Europe LS, An Accredited Biological and Environmental Testing Laboratory?
When selecting a laboratory to fulfill your analytical requirements, you need to be sure the laboratory is technically accredited by an internationally recognized accreditation body and can supply you with scientifically-sound, legally-defensible, accurate, precise, timely and reliable data. A technically competent laboratory will have all of the elements listed below fully developed in its Quality System. USAPHCR-Europe Laboratory Sciences (LS) group meets all of these requirements and more. LS is an ISO/IEC 17025:2005 accredited biological and environmental testing laboratory that has voluntarily chosen to incorporate the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) standards of Quality & Environmental Management into its Quality System. Registration to the internationally recognized ISO 9001:2008 "Quality Management System" (QMS) standard demonstrates the laboratory’s ability to meet customer and regulatory requirements and its commitment to continual performance improvement. Registration to the internationally recognized ISO 14001:2004 "Environmental Management System" (EMS) standard acknowledges the laboratory’s commitment to critically evaluating and reducing its detrimental environmental impacts or "environmental footprint." USAPHCR-Europe LS is committed to maintaining the requirements for and realizing the spirit of its ISO/IEC 17025:2005, ISO 9001:2000 and ISO 14001:2004 accreditation and registrations.
If you demand that both you and your regulators have confidence in the integrity and quality of the laboratory data supplied by your laboratory, then choosing USAPHCR-Europe LS, a laboratory that is committed to continuous improvement, provides scientifically-sound, legally-defensible, timely and accurate data, and maintains a world-class Quality System as demonstrated through the laboratories attainment of independent 3rd party verification of compliance to the internationally accepted standards of quality (ISO/IEC 17025:2005, NLLAP, ISO 9001:2008 and ISO 14001:2004) in all aspects of its business practices clearly demonstrates your commitment to quality.
- All USAPHCR-Europe LS employees perform work using ONLY current approved Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) based upon the most recent reference methods.
- This eliminates "out of specification" work and helps to ensure reproducible analytical results.
- Minimizes confusion and helps to prevent errors.
- Requires an organized system of communication, training, and record keeping, all of which are "hall marks" of a well run laboratory.
- All USAPHCR-Europe LS data is reviewed for accuracy by qualified experts before release to the customer. This eliminates unnecessary concern, review and time on the part of the customer.
- Data is periodically reviewed through internal and external audits to ensure quality and conformance to SOPs.
Procurement Control Program
- All supplies must be provided by management approved vendors, preference is given to vendors who are registered to ISO 9001:2008 and/or ISO 14001:2004. This ensures that all suppliers meet strict requirements for excellence.
Disaster Recovery Program
- USAPHCR-Europe LS maintains Traceable Measurement and Test Equipment, computers and peripherals. To ensure mission essential equipment operates at optimal performance, USAPHCR-Europe LS maintains comprehensive manufacturer service contracts. It is LS’ assurance of timely and accurate customer data as agreed
- All equipment failures are thoroughly investigated to determine the extent of impact, if any, the failure had on customer data. Prompt customer notification is performed when necessary.
- All electronic data is secured through at least three levels (minimal) of data storage: copied from the instrument to a RAID-5 NAS system, all data is backed up daily via Digital Linear Tape (DLT) and stored in a fireproof safe at an offsite facility, and DVD format of each data file is copied to and stored in an offsite fireproof safe in a secured environment.
Measurement and Test Equipment Traceability
- USAPHCR-Europe LS equipment and instrumentation is installed by the manufacturer and certified prior to use.
- Whenever possible, all instrumentation and equipment is calibrated by independent third party accredited vendors annually to ensure traceability to a national standard.
- Whenever possible, calibration standards are traceable to the National Institute of Standards and Testing (NIST) or equivalent national standard.
- All instrument repair documentation is maintained.
- Complete historical equipment function verification / preventive maintenance logs are maintained for each item of measurement and test equipment.
Quality Assurance Program
- The USAPHCR-Europe LS Quality Assurance Division manages an intensive internal audit program of all laboratory operations to ensure compliance with ISO 17025:2005, ISO 9001:2008, ISO 14001:2004, and the ISO 17025:2005 National Lead Laboratory Accreditation Program (NLLAP) requirements.
- Quality Assurance systems are reviewed regularly to ensure continued relevance.
- USAPHCR-Europe LS Quality Assurance Division is open to all LS’ customers for laboratory audits or to ensure compliance with USAPHCR-Europe LS’ Quality System requirements.
- The USAPHCR-Europe LS Customer Guide, LS Biologicals Submission Guide (BSG), Table 1 (Analytes, Methods, & Limits), and LS Price List, are available to customers as uncontrolled copies of these documents in Adobe Acrobat PDF format.
- Customer comments are appreciated and are regularly solicited through the use of Customer Satisfaction surveys.
Comprehensive Training Program
- All USAPHCR-Europe LS employees receive ongoing training in Quality Assurance Procedures, Standard Operating Procedures, Internal Audits, Safety, and Ethics.
- All technical staff of the USAPHCR-Europe LS Team participate in a comprehensive training program and must demonstrate expertise in the performance of analytical procedures and the LS Quality System before they may be granted Approved Signatory status. This is followed by a mandatory supervised 3 or 6 month working period.
- Training records are available to customers for review upon request.
Environmental Health and Safety Program
- THE USAPHCR-Europe LS Chemical Hygiene Plan is available to customers upon request.
- All USAPHCR-Europe LS employees are trained in required Health and Safety practices.
- USAPHCR-Europe LS adheres to all U.S. Army safety rules, and participates in U.S. Army Safety Training programs.
- USAPHCR-Europe LS ensures compliance with all applicable Federal health and safety requirements and the International Standards for Environmental Management Systems (EMS) described by ISO 14001:2004. It also meets the criteria of Executive Order 13148, Greening the Government Through Leadership in Environmental Management, and DOE Order 450.1, the Environmental Protection Program, that require Federal facilities to implement EMSs, as well as the Code of Environmental Management Principles for Federal Facilities.
Technical Development and Support Program
- USAPHCR-Europe LS provides timely support to personnel deployed or stationed throughout Europe, the Middle East, Southwest Asia and Africa.
- USAPHCR-Europe LS analytical procedure improvements and revisions undergo third party validation.
- Third party validation studies are available to customers upon request.
- All USAPHCR-Europe LS Test procedures meet and/or exceed the requirements of ISO 17025:2005.
- Measurement Uncertainty Data is collected on a routine basis from all analytical procedures (where applicable) and is available its customers upon request.
Mutual Recognition Program
- Nationally recognized accreditation bodies realize that they operate in an equivalent way and that they deliver equivalent accreditations that provide the same level of competence and confidence throughout the world. The participation of nationally recognized accreditation bodies as members of international cooperatives dedicated to the worldwide recognition and international acceptance of an accredited laboratory’s data through multilateral agreements (MLS) or mutual recognition programs provides a means for goods and services to cross boundaries in Europe and throughout the world because of the independent, competent and impartial scrutiny of the international organizations. A test, inspection report, or a certificate issued by an accredited body in one country is recognized as equivalent to a report or a certificate issued by an accredited body in any of the countries that are signatories to the MLA. Accreditation bodies certify equivalent laboratory and quality management operations and therefore the ability provide the same level high of competence and confidence.
- The MLA makes accreditation a "passport" which facilitates access to the international markets through co-operation with ILAC (International Laboratory Accreditation Co-operation), International Accreditation Forum (IAF) and the European Co-operation for Accreditation (EA).