National Association of Testing Authorities Australia (NATA)
The National Association of Testing Authorities, Australia (NATA) provides a foundation for confidence in Australia's calibration, testing, and inspection activities. NATA technical auditing (accreditation) also underpins the certification of a range of products and services. NATA adds value to thousands of such services in business, industry and government, both in Australia and internationally.
What is NATA?
NATA is the authority responsible for the accreditation of laboratories, inspection bodies, calibration services, producers of certified reference materials and proficiency testing scheme providers throughout Australia. It is also Australia's compliance monitoring authority for the OECD Principles of GLP.
NATA provides independent assurance of technical competence through a proven network of best practice industry experts for customers who require confidence in the delivery of their products and services. NATA formally recognises that these facilities produce reliable technical results which make the world a safer and more certain place. NATA's work increases community confidence and trust in a facility's services, mitigates risk, improves tendering success and facilitates trade.
Established in 1947, NATA is the world's first comprehensive laboratory accreditation body, and is still one of the largest.
NATA is a not-for-profit company operating as an association owned and governed by its members and representatives from industry, government and professional bodies. NATA is largely self-funded and has memoranda of understanding with the Australian Government and various state and territory governments that recognise its key role in Australia's technical infrastructure. The Australian Government uses NATA-accredited facilities wherever possible and encourages state and territory governments and other instrumentalities to do likewise.
More than 3000 facilities in Australia and around 50 other economies are NATA members.
NATA employs around 175 staff in Sydney (head office), Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth. It is supported by some 3000 volunteer technical experts who assist with NATA's various technical committees and the evaluation of facilities. NATA people are passionate about working for the public good. They have a strong belief that they can make a difference through their core skills in technical competence.
NATA provides a range of other services in addition to accreditation and assessment. For instance, it is a leading supplier of specialised training, seminar and education services in Australia and internationally. These programs include courses such as "Quality Management in the Laboratory", "Documenting Your Laboratory Quality System", "Lead Assessor Training" and "Internal Audit". From time to time, NATA also runs seminars and workshops on technical topics of interest to its members and others concerned with the measurement and testing system in Australia.
NATA undertakes capacity building and provides advisory services for many developing accreditation bodies, laboratories and inspection bodies internationally, and provides training for their staff both offshore and in Australia.
NATA also provides information and support services for member facilities, and promotes them to domestic and foreign consumers. It maintains a public database of accredited facilities, and publishes a range of technical and information documents covering laboratory practice and evaluation. It is also represented on national and international standards writing committees, and advises legislators, regulators and specifiers on ways in which accreditation can be used to provide technical assurance and mitigate risk.
Proficiency Testing Australia
Proficiency Testing Australia (PTA) is a subsidiary of the National Association of Testing Authorities, Australia (NATA).
PTA offers Testing Programs involving the distribution of sub-samples of a material for testing by participating laboratories, Measurement Programs involving the circulation of a measurement artefact among a group of laboratories or a single laboratory, and customised programs, for industry organisations
NATA's staff are highly trained within a variety of fields. They can further explain the above processes at a technical or business level, and the way NATA can help a facility achieve its goals, save costs and build a reputation for its services.
NATA can be contacted on 1800 621 666 (free call), through its state branches or through its website.