Who does this concern?
This information is applicable to all facilities seeking to transfer their accreditation to or from ALAB.
Why do we have rules around transfer?
There is a need for information about the requirements and the process of transferring the accreditation of the facility from another accreditation body to ALAB. The purpose of documenting a transfer process is to ensure transparency to all affected parties.
The concept of transfer is enabled by establishing confidence between accreditation bodies and implies a degree of portability of accreditation from one body to another.
The extent to which accreditation is portable depends upon a number of factors not least of which is the reputation of the organization from which accreditation is being transferred. ALAB’s foundational policy in this regard is that transfer of accreditation to ALAB will only be considered if the applicant laboratory holds current accreditation from a member of the ILAC MRA or equivalent regional cooperation.
What do we mean by 'Transfer"?
Transfer of accreditation – recognition by ALAB of an existing and valid accreditation granted by another accredited body for the purpose of issuing ALAB accreditation, without a capability extension. Alternatively, transfer of accreditation from ALAB to another accreditation body.
Who is eligible?
Facilities who are eligible for transfer of accreditation to ALAB are those with current and valid accreditation from an accreditation body who is an ILAC MRA member.
Applicants holding accreditation from a body that is not a member of ILAC or equivalent regional cooperation will be progressed as new clients.
Notwithstanding completion of the processes described in this procedure, ALAB reserves the right to reject any application for accreditation that it deems unacceptable. Under such circumstances the reason for rejection will be made clear to the applicant.
So how do I go about starting the transfer of my accreditation to ALAB?
1. Submit a request for transfer. The applicant facility notifies ALAB that it is a holder of accreditation and wishes to transfer its accreditation to ALAB.
2. Complete application form. The applicant completes the ALAB application form, indicating in the appropriate place that it already holds accreditation and identifies the scope it wishes to transfer to ALAB.
3. Pay invoice for application transfer. ALAB raises an invoice for the application fee in accordance with the current Fee Schedule and the quotation provided to the applicant.
What information will ALAB need?
In order to progress the application, ALAB needs a range of information to help us fully understand your situation and the status of your current accreditation
- Current scope of accreditation including partial or full scope transfer
- The site or sites wishing to transfer accreditation
- Dates of the most recent reassessment and surveillance visit
- Most recent reassessment and surveillance assessment report including closure of findings
- Most recent management review and internal audit
- Reasons for seeking a transfer
- Any complaints received and action taken to resolve the complaint and improve the management system, as applicable
- Any other information that may affect ALAB's decision concerning the transfer
What does ALAB do with the information I provide?
ALAB will perform a review of the submitted documented information to determine the facility’s eligibility to transfer accreditation.
What if there are outstanding findings from my current accreditation body (such as nonconformities that have not yet been closed?
Any nonconformities (major or minor) from the issuing accreditation body that had not been closed prior to the application being submitted to ALAB, will be followed up by ALAB considering the nature of the nonconformity and the corrective action implemented by the applicant.
Closure of all outstanding nonconformities is required prior to transfer unless implementation of corrective actions is dependent on a long-term process.
What other factors may prevent transfer of accreditation to ALAB?
Any unresolved matters that would present a reputational risk to ALAB as the accepting accreditation body will be explained to the applicant facility. The principles of procedural fairness (natural justice) will be applied.
Will ALAB keep me informed of the outcome of its review?
Yes. ALAB will advise the applicant of the status and outcome of the pre-transfer review.
What if ALAB decides that transfer is not possible?
If the issues identified are preventing the completion of the transfer and cannot be resolved, ALAB will propose that the facility applies as a new client for accreditation and the application progressed as such.
Okay, so how does ALAB finalize the transfer process?
1. Prior findings resolved. ALAB confirms closure of any outstanding nonconformities.
2. Long term corrective actions acknowledged. ALAB accepts the facility’s plans for all outstanding minor nonconformities that are subject to corrective actions dependent on a long-term process.
3. Accreditation cycle determined. If no issues are identified, the next routine assessment will occur no later than two years after the last assessment conducted by the previous accreditation body and reassessment will be timed so that it occurs no later than four years after the start of the current cycle established by the previous accreditation body.
4. Recommendation for transfer. A recommendation for accreditation will be submitted to ALAB’s independent accreditation decision maker.
So far so good, so what's next?
Once a positive accreditation decision has been made, ALAB completes the transfer by issuing the accreditation certificate and schedule. Along with the certificate ALAB will provide the schedule of remaining assessments up to the point of reaccreditation.
What do I need to pay?
Accreditation fees. Invoice for the first annual fee is payable in advance of certificate issuance and thereafter annually prior to the certificate anniversary.
When should I inform my current accreditation body?
ALAB recommends that the facility informs its current accreditation body of its wish to terminate accreditation once ALAB issues the accreditation certificate.
After transfer, when will ALAB conduct my next accreditation assessment?
The next ALAB routine assessment will be conducted no later than two years following the last assessment conducted by the previous accreditation body.
What if I want to transfer my ALAB accreditation to another accreditation body?
While we are not happy when a client leaves, we recognize that you have a choice and we will respect your decision, working with you to ensure a smooth transition.
Where a facility accredited by ALAB wishes to transfer its accreditation to another accreditation body, ALAB will provide information to the extent necessary to facilitate a smooth transition. In addition, andwhere applicable, in accordance with ALAB Terms and Conditions, the accredited facility agrees to
Finalize payment of any outstanding ALAB fees
Refrain from using the ALAB accreditation symbol
Refrain from claiming or implying accreditation by ALAB
Notify stakeholders and other interested parties