UAE laboratory meets international standard

20 December 2018

The Secondary Standards Dosimetry Laboratory (SSDL) of the UAE's Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation (FANR) has been awarded the ISO 17025 accreditation for the competence of testing and calibration laboratories, the first of its kind in the Gulf region.

The SSDL is operated by FANR and hosted by Khalifa University of Science and technology. It will provide domestic calibration services to radiation measurement equipment users in the medical, nuclear and industrial fields.

The laboratory has now been awarded ISO 17025 accreditation, the international reference for testing and calibration laboratories wanting to demonstrate their capacity to deliver reliable results.

ISO 17025 specifies the general requirements for the competence to carry out tests and/or calibrations, including sampling. It covers testing and calibration performed using standard methods, non-standard methods and laboratory-developed methods. It is applicable to all organisations performing tests and/or calibrations. These include, for example, first-, second- and third-party laboratories, and laboratories where testing and/or calibration forms part of inspection and product certification.

The accreditation was awarded to the SSDL after FANR complied with the standard's stringent requirements, such as impartiality of the laboratory and confidentially of information processed during the lab's activities. It also had to demonstrate it has adequate resources to properly conduct its activities, availability of equipment and competent staff.

"The ISO 17025 accreditation for our SSDL is a demonstration of FANR's efforts towards excellence, which is a necessity to achieve our vision in becoming one of the leading nuclear regulators globally, as well as ensuring the protection of the people and the environment," said FANR Director General Christer Viktorsson. "SSDL is one of the cornerstones at FANR in building the radiation protection infrastructure in the UAE."

FANR said the accreditation will help the laboratory "demonstrate it operates competently and generate valid results, thereby promoting confidence in the work nationally and internationally. It will also help facilitate cooperation between laboratories and other international bodies by generating wider acceptance of results between countries."

In 2017, the SSDL passed two proficiency tests organised by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), demonstrating its technical capacity to provide radiation calibration services in the UAE. In February this year, the laboratory joined the IAEA/World Health Organisation SSDL Network, which has 84 laboratories in 71 countries and is responsible for verifying that the services offered by the national laboratories follow internationally accepted metrological standards.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News