NATIONAL ACCREDITATION BOARD FOR TESTING AND CALIBRATION LABORATORIES (NABL)
Laboratory Recognition Scheme: National Accreditation Board for Testing and
Calibration Laboratories (NABL) is an autonomous body set up under the Department
for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), Ministry of Commerce and
Industry, Government of India. NABL provides accreditation in all major fields of
Science and Engineering, such as Biological, Chemical, Electrical, Electronics, and
Mechanical. NABL provides accreditation services to testing laboratories,
calibration laboratories, medical testing laboratories, proficiency testing
laboratories, reference material producers in accordance with ISO/IEC 17025, 17043,
NABL is a member of Asia Pacific Laboratory
Accreditation Cooperation (APLAC) and International Laboratory Accreditation
A laboratory that wishes to be recognized under
the LRS must be accredited to the Laboratory Quality Management System, as per
IS/ISO/IEC 17025 in the respective field of testing, such as Mechanical, Electrical,
Chemical, and Microbiological, as applicable. The laboratory's accrediting body must
be a full member of the International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC),
or Asia Pacific Accreditation Co-operation (APAC), or any other regional
accreditation cooperation organization.
All the test parameters of the Indian Standard(s)
for which recognition is sought shall be covered under the scope of accreditation as
per IS/ISO/IEC 17025.
Only Indian Standards that are covered/proposed
to be covered by conformity assessment systems will be considered for recognition.
Even if the Indian Standard is not covered under any BIS certification program but
is covered by the applicant lab's NABL scope, recognition can be granted.
BIS LABORATORY RECOGNITION SCHEME
The Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) is the
country's National Standards Body, responsible for developing, monitoring, and
assessing Indian standards. To protect consumers' interests, BIS runs several
Conformity Assessment Schemes for producers and service providers of goods and
Under the Product Certification Scheme, the BIS
grants a license to manufacturers to use the standard mark, also known as the ISI
mark, on their products if they comply with Indian Standards.
Under the compulsory registration scheme, BIS
grants a license to a manufacturer to use a standard mark with a unique registration
number through registration based on self-declaration of conformity whose products
conform to relevant Indian Standards as assessed through testing at BIS recognized
Testing of items is essential for quality
evaluation against the applicable Standard; therefore, the need for a testing
facility arises. BIS has a laboratory network of eight laboratories to evaluate
samples generated from its conformity assessment schemes.
OBJECTIVE OF LABORATORY RECOGNITION SCHEME
The development of testing facilities for each product covered under BIS conformity
assessment schemes is neither physically possible nor economically viable for BIS
laboratories. Laboratory Recognition Scheme (LRS) has been formulated to meet the
needs of the BIS Conformity Assessment Scheme, to have a sufficient number of
outside laboratories in India and overseas, in addition to BIS labs.
Recognition is granted to such laboratories which meet the criteria for recognition
and which are able to demonstrate the availability of infrastructure, test facility,
and manpower required for testing of products covered or proposed to be covered
under Conformity Assessment Schemes of BIS and payment of fees as prescribed by BIS.
WHAT IS LABORATORY RECOGNITION SCHEME?
Laboratory Recognition Scheme is a scheme under
BIS to recognize any laboratory in India or outside India for carrying out testing
of samples concerning conformity assessment and such other functions as the Bureau
may assign to it.
LRS (Laboratory Recognition Scheme) is operated
by BIS, which is controlled by Section 13 (4) of the BIS Act 2016 and Rule 32 of the
BIS Rules, 2018.
Under this provision, the BIS has the authority
to recognize any laboratory in India or abroad to conduct sample testing concerning
product conformity assessment and other functions that the BIS may assign to it.
SCOPE OF BIS LRS
The Rules also provide guidelines for
suspension, withdrawal, renewal, and revocation of accredited laboratories. The
Bureau of Indian Standards keeps a record of all recognized laboratories that test
samples of items or processes against applicable Indian Standards.
Laboratory Recognition Scheme lays down the
criteria, terms, and conditions of grant and operation of recognition, revocation or
renewal of recognition, suspension or withdrawal of recognition, instructions for
testing and issuing test reports, appeals, complaint handling mechanism,
administrative and charges relating to the recognition of outside labs.
WHAT IS THE CRITERIA FOR RECOGNITION OF LABORATORY?
The laboratory that wishes to be recognized under
LRS must meet the following requirements:
- Accreditation - The laboratory seeking recognition must be accredited to
Laboratory Quality Management System AS PER IS/ISO/IEC 17025. The accreditation
body must be a full member of ILAC and/or Asia Pacific Accreditation
- Indian Standards for recognition - Recognition shall be considered only
for Indian Standards, which are covered under the conformity assessment schemes
of BIS or related standards, for all the requirements/ parameters/ tests in the
- Subcontracting - Subcontracting of tests is strictly prohibited.
Subcontracting may be agreed upon if existing test equipment fails and only for
samples that are already being tested.
- Testing facility - All testing-related activities must take place in the
same premises as the laboratory.
- Impartiality - Laboratory operations must be organized and regulated to
RECOGNITION OF FOREIGN LABORATORIES
Criteria for recognition of Foreign Laboratories
shall be the same as that for Indian Laboratories with the additional requirement as
- The auditee laboratory shall bear the auditors' travel and lodging expenses as
per the auditors' entitlement.
- For BIS recognition, international laboratories must establish a liaison/branch
office in India with the necessary licenses, which must meet all requirements
under the BIS act, rules, and regulations.
- The adoption of all other terms and conditions of this scheme, as well as the
decision of the BIS in this regard, will be required for foreign laboratories to
WHAT ARE THE DOCUMENTS REQUIRED FOR LRS?
Following documents are required for LRS-
- Legal Identity of the laboratory
- Authenticating premises of the laboratory
- Certificates of accreditation for IS/ISO/IEC 17025
- List of Indian Standards
- Organization chart of the laboratory
- List of Technical & Managerial personnel of the laboratory in details
- Layout Plan of the Laboratory
Any other document considered relevant by the
WHAT IS THE PROCESS FOR LABORATORY RECOGNITION?
The following process is involved in laboratory
- Documentation and meeting recognition criteria - Applicant needs to
ensure that laboratory must fulfill recognition criteria. Any laboratory
fulfilling the laboratory recognition criteria may apply for recognition.
- Submission of Application - Any laboratory fulfilling the laboratory
recognition criteria may apply for recognition along with the requisite
documents and fees.
- Receipt of Application - BIS will check the completeness of the
application provided by the laboratory.
- Recording of Application - If the application is found complete in terms
of documentation and fee submission, and accepted for further processing. The
application would be recorded and an 'Application Number' also called a unique
serial number assigned to each application.
- Evaluation of Documents - After the recording of the application, BIS
will evaluate the document submitted by the laboratory.
- Initial audit - On the satisfactory evaluation of documents after the
recording of the application, an initial audit of the laboratory shall be
conducted for on-site assessment of the laboratory's compliance.
- Decisions for Recognition - The application for recognition will be
completed based on the audit findings, the closure of all non-conformities
discovered if any, and confirmation on record that the criteria for recognition
are met and the laboratory has agreed to follow the scheme's terms & conditions.
- Grant of recognition - Based on the audit, the application shall be
processed for grant of recognition.
- The testing charges for recognized laboratories shall be declared and fixed at
the time of their recognition/renewal for three years.
- The laboratory must adhere to BIS policies on testing charges, as revised from
time to time.
- There shall be no upward revision in the testing charges during three years.
HOW TO APPLY FOR LABORATORY RECOGNITION?
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