Difference Between NABL & NPL



The National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories is an autonomous body that operates under the guidance of the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India. The main aim of this body is to provide accreditation to testing and calibration of laboratories in the country.

It is the sole accreditation body authorized by the Government of India that provides a third-party assessment of quality and technical competence of labs. NABL also shares links with Asia Pacific Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation and International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation.

NABL has signed an MRA with ILAC / APLAC which is the international body for accreditation co-operation of all laboratories. ILAC is the principal organization under whom all the countries worldwide have registered their local accreditation bodies through MRA.

Other international accreditation bodies include ANAB & IAS – USA, UKAS – UK, DAKKS – Germany, COFRAC – France, EIAC & ENAS – UAE. NABL operates primarily in the Indian subcontinent but also provides services to nearby developing countries like Bangladesh, Nepal, Myanmar, Sri-Lanka, and others.

NABL regularly publishes Newsletter on its activities & issues publications for the operation and accreditation of all laboratories. It arranges auditing courses for interested auditors to become NABL assessors & takes further initiative for their grooming by arranging assessor conclaves.

Main objectives of NABL

· Provides accreditation of testing & calibration laboratories as per ISO 17025

· Provides Accreditation of PT providers as per ISO 17043

· Provides Accreditation of medical laboratories as per ISO 15189

· Provides Accreditation of RMP ( Reference Material Providers ) as per ISO 17034

Responsibilities of NABL

· Gives guidelines on the operation of various types of laboratories.

· Monitors the activities to check if all labs operate as per their accreditation norms

· Arranges external audits through its pool of assessors with the support of NPL, India.

· Gives a monthly briefing on the new opportunities / improvements for different laboratory businesses in the country.

Benefits of NABL

· Assurance that genuine reports would be shared after accurate calibration testing

· Confidence in the personnel who perform the tests

· Elimination of the need for re-testing thereby saving money and time

· Satisfaction in the services provided

Difference between NABL & NPL

NABL means National Accreditation board for Testing & Calibration Laboratories.

NPL is a National Physical Laboratory also called National Metrological Institute (NMI), which maintains the country’s primary standards.

National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories (NABL) is a Constituent Board of the Quality Council of India. NABL has been established with the objective to provide Government, Industry Associations and Industry in general with a scheme for third-party assessment of the quality and technical competence of testing and calibration laboratories.

Every country has these two bodies that work in tandem to maintain the accreditation status of calibration laboratories. The technical instructions are given by NPL & NABL. They also monitor so as to ensure that the standards are implemented.

NABL provides accreditation to all laboratories like testing, calibration, medical, PT (proficiency Testing) and RMP (Reference Material Providers) as per relevant standards whereas NPL is a national metrological institute (NMI) which is considered to have the highest level of primary standards to establish the country’s traceability.

NABL and NPL work in tandem to establish to ensure laboratories maintain proper traceability for all instruments. Most of assessors conducting ISO 17025 audits of local laboratories are from NPL.


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