Can the Health Physics Society Accredit Radiation Detection Instruments for DHS?
F.M. Cummings1 and C.F. Wu2 (1Idaho National Laboratory; 2US Department of Energy)
The HPS has a long history of accrediting calibration laboratories. The philosophy underlying the accreditation process for HPS is the same process that forms the basis of other accreditation programs in the U.S. Throughout the history of accreditation in the U.S., several issues arise to take precedence in the direction of the program. Accreditation lends credibility to an organization's ability to provide services. The organization is the entity that is accredited because it encompasses and implements the underlying Quality Assurance program. The accreditation process is an ongoing process that maintains and improves the quality of services. The scope and scale of the HPS Laboratory Accreditation Program (HPSLAP) allow it to be staffed with HPS member-volunteers and utilize the results of other measurement-quality-assurance performance-test programs. It is difficult to imagine how a cadre of volunteers could establish and maintain a program of the scope required to accredit or rate individual instruments. An external program in the U.S. provides a model for this type of accreditation, the Underwriter's Laboratory Testing program. A successful program, UL Listing now commands the respect of the safety profession and the general public. An accreditation program could be established by the HPS that is similar to the UL program. Performance testing would be accomplished at accredited calibration laboratories around the U.S. HPS volunteers would conduct site assessments to evaluate the compliance with quality assurance requirements in the HPS Criteria and Requirements Manual. Individual instruments would be included on the accreditation certificate as now is done in the National Voluntary Laboratory Accreditation Program (NVLAP) and in the Department of Energy Laboratory Accreditation Program (DOELAP).