» Information for EQA Providers

Information for EQA Providers

The aim of the transition of External Quality Assurance Providers (EQA) from CPA standards to ISO/IEC 17043 is to establish accreditation to an international standard and provide increased recognition to the EQA area.

EQA Providers can apply to have a pre-assessment to ISO/IEC 17043 alongside any planned CPA main visit. These visits are free until the end of March 2014. To be eligible for free pre-assessment, providers must be CPA accredited and have submitted the following completed application forms, which also includes the UKAS agreement.

Dependent upon the outcome of the pre-assessment, dates for the initial assessment will be agreed and an estimate of cost provided. Fees are based on the amount of effort required to complete an effective assessment and include office and site time. Please see UKAS Standard Terms of Business.

CPA will continue to support existing accreditation to the CPA EQA standards until 31 March 2016, after that date the CPA standards for EQA Providers will be withdrawn. Organisations that have not transitioned to ISO/IEC 17043 by 31 March 2016 will cease to hold CPA Accreditation, and not be able to refer to CPA accreditation in either publications or literature.

To optimise the transition process, initial assessment should ideally take place within 12 months of the pre-assessment, and before June 2015, to ensure continuity of accreditation. CPA will not accept applications for CPA accreditation to EQA standards from 30 September 2013. Applicants will instead be directed towards ISO/IEC 17043.

UKAS is keen to support providers through this transition. Please contact Ben Courtney, Medical Laboratories Accreditation Manager (ben.courtney@ukas.com) or your Assessment Manager, should you have any queries.