A2LA Celebrates 40 Years

 

2018 marks A2LA’s 40th year of making the world a better place through accreditation. The following highlights milestones throughout A2LA’s history.

     

1978

  • The American Association for Laboratory Accreditation (A2LA) was incorporated as a nonprofit (IRS Code 501C 3) on July 12, 1978.  

1980

  • The first five laboratories were accredited on October 2, 1980.

1981

  • John Magnotti of MACO Associates in McLean, Virginia became the Executive Director
     
5 Accreditations

 

1986

  • Gladys Berchtold elected as Board Chair.
  • John Locke became Executive Director on April 1.  
  • Peter Unger joined them at the beginning of June.  

1987

  • John Locke was named President and the term Executive Director was dropped.  
  • The acronym, AALA, was changed to A2LA.  The Association has been known as A2LA ever since.
  • A2LA’s public training program is launched.
     
117 Accreditations

 

1988

  • First assessor conclave event is held to facilitate technical collaboration and provide continuing training.
  • A2LA Calibration laboratory accreditation program launched.  

1989

  • Chester Grant elected as Board chair
  • A2LA recognized as one of two acceptable accreditation bodies by General Motors (GM)

1990

  • Roxanne Robinson joined the staff as a full-time scientific officer in Jan.  
  • A2LA signed the following bilateral Mutual Recognition Agreements (MRAs):
    •     HOKLAS, Hong Kong
    •     NATA, Australia
    •     TELARC, New Zealand

1992

  • Paul Schlecht elected Board chair
  • MRA with Naval Sea Systems Command signed
     
460 Accreditations
8 Staff

 

1993

  • Inspection body program initiated

1994

  • William Roberts elected Board chair
  • MRA for testing signed with Standards Council of Canada
  • A2LA begins to offer quality management system registration to laboratories
  • A2LA offered quality management system registration to laboratories briefly from 1994 to 1998, and was accredited by the Registrar Accreditation Board.

1995

  • MRA signed with SINGLAS, Singapore

1996

  • Pete Unger succeeds John Locke as President of the Association
  • A2LA signs ILAC MOU with 43 other accreditation bodies

1997

  • Steve Bowser elected as Board chair
  • NIST approves A2LA under Fastener
  • Quality Act evaluation program, resulting in a record of 300 applications received for the year.
  • A2LA is one of seven signatories to inaugural APLAC MRA
     
987 Accreditations
365 Members
22 Staff

 

1998

  • The 1000th laboratory accredited by A2LA.  
  • A2LA becomes the fourth largest multi-discipline laboratory accreditation body in the world.  
  • Nine prominent leaders of the Association were named lifetime members: Roger Amorosi; Gladys Berchtold; John Blair; Chet Grant; Earl Hess; Les Huntley; John Locke; Carl Miller; and Leland Walker.
  • A2LA Headquarters moved from Gaithersburg to Frederick, MD

1999

  • A2LA signed a bilateral mutual recognition agreement with European Accreditation (EA)
  • A2LA submitted the first application to be evaluated by NACLA.  

2000

  • Doug Berg elected as Board chair
  • A2LA was one of 37 signatories from 28 economies to the ILAC Mutual Recognition Arrangement signed in October at the Washington, DC ILAC General Assembly meeting.   
  • First year of transition from ISO/IEC Guide 25 to ISO/IEC17025:1999.
  • A2LA issued its first accreditations for proficiency testing providers and reference material producers.
  • The Electro-Mechanical Advisory Committee (EMAC) was formed to develop guidance for electrical product testing, EMC, telecommunications and environmental simulation, bringing the total advisory committees to five.

2001

  • The searchable directory of all accredited organizations’ scopes of accreditation became available at www.A2LA.org.
  • A2LA one of three signatories to inaugural NACLA MRA
  • Pete Unger elected chair of Asia Pacific Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (APLAC).

2002

  • A2LA signs the newly established Intra-American Accreditation Cooperation (IAAC) Multilateral Recognition Arrangement (MLA)
  • The transition to ISO/IEC 17025 replacing Guide 25 complete  
     
1,612 Accreditations
460 Members
33 Staff

 

2003

  • William Kavanagh elected as Board chair.
  • A2LA issues 2,000th accreditation certificate
  • A2LA proficiency testing provider accreditation program recognized by NELAC

2004

  • 5.3 month average turn-around from application to accreditation across all programs.
  • A2LA withdrew from the NACLA MRA
  • Pete Unger elected Vice Chair of ILAC for 2005 and 2006.   

2005

  • A2LA performs 10,000th assessment

2006

  • Trevor Boyce elected as Board chair
  • Key government stakeholders (NIST, NRC, FCC, and EPA) observed the re-evaluation of A2LA conducted jointly with APLAC, IAAC, and EA.  
  • Pete Unger re-elected as Vice Chair of ILAC.  
  • Roxanne Robinson elected to the APLAC Board of Management.   

2007

  • The Board of Directors adopted a new vision for the organization: “To contribute to the quality and integrity of the testing, calibration and inspection industries by being the premier provider of accreditations accepted everywhere and by everyone.”
  • The NIST National Conformity Assessment Systems Evaluation (NVCASE) program approved the A2LA accreditation program for Telecommunications Certification Bodies.
     
1,932 Accreditations
393 Members
38 Staff

 

2008

  • A2LA celebrates 30th anniversary
  • First medical laboratory accredited

2009

  • Woody Vogt elected as Board chair
  • A2LA joins International Accreditation Forum (IAF)
  • A2LA remains strong and weathers U.S. economic downturn
  • Recognition from U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) to Accredit Environmental Testing Laboratories
  • Trace McInturff elected as APLAC Technical Committee Chair
  • Lancaster Laboratories celebrates 30 years of A2LA accreditation (Certificate 1.01)

2010

  • A2LA forensic examination accreditation program established.
  • A2LA issues 3,000th accreditation
  • A2LA recognized by EPA for accrediting ENERGY STAR testing laboratories and product certification bodies

2011

  • Michael Kesselmayer elected Board chair
  • A2LA Assessor Conclave transitions to the A2LA Technical Forum and Annual Meeting
  • First forensic examination laboratory accredited by A2LA
  • Peter Unger elected chair of ILAC

2012

  • ILAC MRA expanded to include accreditation of inspection bodies
  • A2LA Forensic Accreditation Program receives Deemed Status from the State of Maryland
     
2373 Accreditations
466 Members
53 Staff

 

2013

  • A2LA chosen as sole provider of FedRAMP accreditation
  • Food Laboratory Alliance is formed with A2LA’s involvement and support
  • Applications begun for newly published ISO/IEC 17065:2012

2014

  • Robert Whitehead elected Board chair
  • APLAC MRA for accreditation of Proficiency Testing Providers signed
  • A2LA CLIA Accreditation Program achieves deemed status from CMS

2015

  • Headquarters moved to President Courts in Frederick, MD
  • Trace McInturff appointed to ISO CASCO Working Group 44 on the revision of ISO/IEC 17025:2005
  • A2LA partners with AABB to offer clinical testing laboratories combined assessments
  • A2LA accredits first forensic inspection body
  • First A2LA CLIA accreditation granted

2016

  • Roxanne Robinson retires from the association
  • Peter Unger takes the first step towards retirement, as he assumes the role of A2LA President Emeritus
  • A2LA appoints Lonnie Spires to lead the Association as President/CEO
  • A2LA’s Training program achieves IACET accreditation
  • Trace McInturff elected to the APLAC Board of Management
  • First Cannabis testing laboratory accredited, following a strong shift in United States’ policy

2017

  • A2LA Accredits First Organization in the NFPA Field Evaluation Body Accreditation Program
  • A2LA issues its first ISO/IEC 17025 accreditation for cannabis testing in the State of Washington
  • A2LA accredits Brammer Standard Company, Inc. as the first organization in the United States to achieve accreditation to the newly released International Standard, ISO 17034:2016
  • In June, A2LA was certified as a Great Place to Work   
  • First A2LA ISO 15189 Accreditation in South America
  • A2LA Stakeholders Participates in Award-winning AOAC Working Group on Cannabis
  • ISO/IEC 17025:2017 was approved and released on November 29
     
3045 Accreditations
781 Members
62 Staff

 

2018

  • In April, A2LA Issues First Accreditation to Newly Published ISO/IEC 17025:2017
3347 Accreditations
750 Members
67 Staff