A2LA Updates in Response to COVID-19

Update: 5/15/2020

COVID-19 Virus Testing and Returning to Work

A2LA Supporting Laboratory Testing

As workers in regions of the United States and around the world begin returning to work sites, employers will need to take precautions to ensure that a safe work environment exists and remains intact. This may entail an extensive focus on indoor environmental, industrial hygiene and other occupational sampling, testing and monitoring.  We are committed to supporting our accredited customers, the general public, government regulators, industry and other stakeholders that rely on our accreditation programs, as we collectively embark into these uncharted waters, to help assure that the testing needs are met, and workplaces are safer for society.

Accredited Customers - Seeking to add SARS-Cov-2 Testing?

ISO/IEC 17025 Biological and Environmental Testing laboratories and sampling organizations will be called upon to provide additional services that may not currently be included on their existing Scopes of Accreditation. Accredited organizations seeking to add SARS-Cov-2 environmental testing please contact your Accreditation Officer or Customers Service for assistance requesting a scope expansion.                                                                                                                                                                                                    

Resources for Users of Accreditation and Stakeholders

Our Customer Care Team stands ready to offer assistance.  The team can be reached at: 301-644-3248A2LA.org/form/contact-us,  or through chat on any page of the www.A2LA.org website.

Regulatory Guidance

Laboratories can refer to the following links for additional guidance on sampling and testing:

CDC’s Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers to Plan and Respond to Coronavirus Disease 2019

CDC’s Interim Laboratory Biosafety Guidelines for Handling and Processing Specimens Associated with Coronavirus Disease 2019

OSHA’s webpage devoted to providing information for workers and employers

The WHO’s Surface Sampling of Coronavirus disease guidance documen

 

Update: 4/1/2020

Memorandum from Trace McInturff, Vice President, Accreditation Services

As the COVID-19 situation continues to evolve, A2LA has been adjusting our policies, procedures, and processes as needed to keep our staff and customers safe; to adhere to guidance from the government and health experts; and to maintain compliance with ISO/IEC 17011 and our international recognition arrangements. Our plan for the next several months is as follows:

  • A2LA employees will continue to ‘work from home’ until Monday, May 4th
  • A2LA will continue to perform remote assessments through to the end of May
  • Customers scheduled to have an upcoming A2LA Assessment will be contacted by their Accreditation Officers and provided with details surrounding their assessment to be performed remotely.

A2LA Executive Management will continue to monitor the COVID situation and will provide timely communications if anything changes.

Please contact your Accreditation Officer if you have any questions or need any assistance.  Our entire staff remains accessible by phone or email. For general inquiries, please call 301-644-3248 or contact us by using this form. We hope everyone is practicing social distancing and staying safe.

 

 

 

Update: 3/16/2020

Dear A2LA Accredited Organizations, Members, and Stakeholders: 

As we all respond to the unprecedented events unfolding related to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), we want to take a moment to communicate with our current applicants and accredited customers, members of the association, and other stakeholders. A2LA Management has been monitoring news surrounding COVID-19 and determining the steps our association can take to ensure the wellbeing of our customers, staff, and assessors.  

First and foremost, our thoughts are with those directly and indirectly impacted by the global pandemic. We understand you may need to take time away from your business and your customers. If you find your organization in a unique situation, please let us know how we can assist.

For our current customers, we will not be conducting on-site assessments, effective immediately, and lasting through Friday, April 10th. However, if assessments are currently underway, they will continue, if possible. All A2LA Accreditation customers who are in good standing and with accreditation anniversary dates in the next 90 days, will automatically be granted extensions. Within the coming weeks, A2LA staff members will be in contact with all currently accredited organizations to discuss their status. The steps we are taking are in the best interest of the health and safety of our customers and stakeholders, while also upholding requirements and processes for A2LA accreditation that is known and trusted throughout the world.  

Currently, A2LA plans for the majority of staff to work remotely effective Monday, March 16th through Friday, April 10th to support efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19. Our availability to you will be the same as always. Individual contact information for staff remains the same. You may also reach a representative through our main phone line (301)-644-3248, or info@a2la.org.  We are committed to maintaining the highest level of customer service.

Regarding the 2020 A2LA Technical Forum, we have made the difficult decision to cancel the event. With the WHO and CDC both warning against mass gatherings, we felt it was the only responsible course of action at this juncture. We will be communicating directly with exhibitors, sponsors, and registrants as soon as possible to address next steps. Thank you for your patience as we plan a clear and effective course of action. 

Circumstances continue to change rapidly as more news becomes available, but A2LA as an association remains committed to our customers and stakeholders. Please do not hesitate to reach out to A2LA staff, we are ready to help assist you during this challenging time.  We appreciate you continued support and business. 

The A2LA Executive Team