HPS Accreditation from the Instrument Calibration Laboratory's Prospective
T.S. Slowey (K&S Associates)
One of the most important aspects of health physics is the measurement of radiation and the most commonly used instrument for this measurement is a portable survey instrument. While the accuracy of typical survey measurements is not usually critical (+/- 10%), the traceability of such measurements to national standards is of vital importance to the credibility of the measurement. The environmental conditions in which the calibration of the instrument is conducted, the procedures used, the traceability of the standards used, the ability of the laboratory to properly perform the calibration and the quality control of the calibration processes all contribute to the creditability of the calibration results. The Health Physics Society (HPS) is the most respected technical authority in health physics in the world and has established an accreditation program for instrument calibration laboratories. This program not only establishes the technical standards but also establishes periodic proficiency testing with the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and a quality program that is compliant with international standards (ISO 17025). This presentation describes the important differences between quality registration (ISO 9001) and accreditation and some of the many benefits of HPS accreditation to the calibration laboratory as well as the customers of the accredited lab.