Environmental laboratories mandated to obtain registration and accreditation from ESMA

Press release
Published December 7th, 2011 - 10:03 GMT
Mohammed Saleh Badri, ESMA Acting Director General
Mohammed Saleh Badri, ESMA Acting Director General

All laboratories active in the field of environmental testing will soon be required to seek accreditation from Emirates Authority for Standardization and Metrology (ESMA) to be able to operate in Abu Dhabi. 

Abu Dhabi Environment Authority has already informed laboratories and consulting firms active in the field of environmental testing that all laboratories will have to be registered with ESMA within a period of six months and obtain accreditation within two years from the date of the circulation. 

The new regulation and the requirements in obtaining the accreditation was discussed in a seminar organized by ESMA in collaboration with the Department of Economic Development in Abu Dhabi and the Environment Agency in Abu Dhabi. 

The accreditation, which involves verifying the lab’s systems and evaluating the competence of the laboratory staff, will be a mandatory requirement for laboratories operating in Abu Dhabi. After obtaining the accreditation, laboratories remain subject to regular surveillance assessments. 

Eng. Mohammed Saleh Badri, ESMA Acting Director General opened the seminar by welcoming and thanking the participating environmental labs and major companies using the services of these labs in attending the event. 

He said the seminar on environmental laboratories accreditation is in line with ESMA’s mandate to organize and conduct awareness campaigns and training courses to labs in the UAE, the general public, policy makers, relevant stakeholders including conformity assessment bodies, assessors and other related parties on accreditation requirements and techniques. 

Badri said: “Laboratory accreditation as per ISO 17025 is awarded in recognition of the lab’s efficiency and competence. Compliance with ESMA’s accreditation requirements builds trust and confidence, which in turn, is an achievement of ESMA’s main objective of contributing to the safeguarding consumer health and lives, and protecting and conserving the environment.” 

Badri explained the steps involved in accreditation starting from document review and then onsite assessments by team of trained and qualified assessors and experts. The accreditation certificate is awarded only when no significant non-conformity identified during assessments exists that could affect the quality of results. 

Mr. Abdullah Al Hammadi, Director of the Hazardous Materials Department of the Environment Agency in Abu Dhabi, delivered a welcoming speech to the participants and expressed his thanks to ESMA for its continual cooperation with government agencies, noting that the Environment Agency in Abu Dhabi and ESMA had agreed on accreditation as a mechanism to assess the technical competence of laboratories. 

Mr. Al Hammadi emphasized that the Environment Agency in Abu Dhabi had taken its decision, which had been circulated to all laboratories, stipulating that all labs should be registered within a period of six months, and that the accreditation mechanism will be put into force within two years from the date of the circulation.