Laboratory Sampling - Part of Accreditation

Best Management Practices for Environmental Laboratories
Oral Presentation

Prepared by M. Moore
Advanced Systems, Inc, P.O. Box 8032, Newark, DE, 19714, United States

Contact Information: [email protected]; 302-368-1211


In 2017, the International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation and ISO (International Standards Organization) revised ISO/IEC 17025. The change updated the definition of laboratory. The new definition of laboratory includes the activities as sampling, testing and calibration.

Accreditation bodies are now reviewing the sampling activities during the assessment to ensure the information is presented in an appropriate manner. Sampling associated with subsequent testing and calibration is now part of the lab’s accreditation scope. The laboratory management must address the requirements for sampling if it is part of the lab’s activities or be sure it is understood that the accreditation only relates to the testing and not to the sample collection (unless the lab has been assessed by the accreditation body for sample collection).

Drinking water, wastewater and waste testing laboratories do not always include sample collection in the scope of accreditation. The drinking water certification program does not require any certification for sample collection. The largest contributor to variability and sources of improper practices is during the sampling process.

If sampling is an activity of the laboratory, management must have a sampling plan that identifies the statistical method when applicable , the sample collection method and the records to demonstrate implementation. The paper will explore various ways management may address sample collection; performed by the laboratory as part of a test method, or sample collection by the laboratory with subsequent testing; or sample collection by a separate department or entity.