SLS receives ISO and ISO/IEC accreditation | THE DAILY HERALD

The professional team of SLS with Inspector General of the Inspectorate of Public Health, Social Development and Labour, Dr. Earl Best (fourth from left, first row) and VSA Minister Pamela Gordon Carty (fourth from right, first row).

CAY HILL–St. Maarten Laboratory Services (SLS) medical and environmental laboratories have received accreditation for renowned, internationally-recognised standards from American Association for Laboratory Accreditation A2LA.

The International Organization for Standardization ISO 15189 certification is the international standard that specifies requirements for quality in medical laboratories, and the ISO and International Electro-technical Commission (ISO/IEC) 17025 certification sets standards for environmental laboratories.

“By obtaining these two certificates, SLS reaffirms its commitment to serve the St. Maarten community and neighbouring islands and to deliver accurate and reliable results by having a solid quality management system in place,” said SLS in a press release on Friday.

ISO develops and publishes various international standards to ensure that materials, products, processes and services are fit for the purpose. The ISO 15189 and ISO/IEC 17025 are two important internationally accepted standards for laboratory test and measurement products. Accreditation bodies use these standards specifically to assess relevant factors of a laboratory’s ability to produce precise and accurate results.

These standards are also used to assess the competency of the laboratory’s staff, which is critical to good management and good laboratory practices, among other things.

The process of SLS’ accreditation started in 2014. “At that time, many quality documents had to be written and put into effect so both the medical and environmental labs could be in compliance with the two above-mentioned ISO norms. This required hard work, dedication and motivation from the entire SLS staff,” said SLS.

After four years, SLS said it was ready to apply for accreditation from A2LA in November 2018. In May 2019, two auditors from A2LA (United States) travelled to St. Maarten to audit both laboratories over a three-day period.

SLS said these were very intense days. On February 10, after eight months of correspondence with A2LA, SLS received news that both laboratories had attained their ISO accreditation.

“For SLS, this is a milestone achievement for the laboratory and for St. Maarten, as this places SLS’ laboratory services on par with world-class laboratories. This certification is the beginning of a beautiful journey for the laboratory and does not end with this achievement. We pledge to maintain our accreditation and continue to provide the highest quality results and services to our community by working in compliance with international standards,” concluded SLS.

Maintenance of the laboratory’s accreditation will be monitored by A2LA and the Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labour VSA Inspectorate Department.

Source: The Daily Herald