AAVLD accreditation assures the clients of the laboratory that results are accurate and of the highest quality by assuring the competence of personnel, the proper function of the facilities and equipment, and appropriate documentation of all laboratory tests and processes.
AAVLD accreditation is based on an on-site audit which follows a prolonged detailed review of laboratory documents, including the quality-assurance and policy manuals, system standard operating procedures, training records, financial status, and information technology policies. To obtain accreditation, members of the AAVLD accreditation committee and special auditors conduct an audit of each laboratory, reviewing equipment, facilities, safety procedures and compliance with the laboratory’s Quality System, as well as testing SOPs in an intense multiple-day inspection.
AAVLD Accreditation is based on the internationally-recognized ISO/IEC 17025 standard and is consistent with the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) Quality Standard for Veterinary Laboratories. Accreditation is a formal recognition of the competency of laboratories and increases client confidence in diagnostic test results. In order to further demonstrate technical competence between accreditation assessments, personnel from accredited laboratories are also required to participate in relevant proficiency-testing programs. Accreditation contributes to continuous improvement and is a management tool that can be used to increase laboratory efficiency, which is critical in times of emergency or limited funding.
Laboratories participating in the USDA’s National Animal Health Laboratory Network may be involved in surveillance for early detection of foreign animal disease, surge testing during an outbreak, and testing samples during the outbreak recovery phase. As such, there must be a high degree of confidence in the quality of the laboratories and associated test results. Accreditation is also necessary for assurance and acceptance of test results for live animal export to other countries.