General News

NLA General News

SRLA and NAFP Expert Group Meeting

The Southern African Development Community Accreditation Service (SADCAS) is pleased to announce that the Expert Group Meeting (EGM) for SADC Regional Laboratory Association (SRLA) will take place during October 2018 and is intended to promote collaboration with the SADC Regional Laboratory Association (SRLA) and the National Accreditation Focal Points (NAFPs) in order to pave the way for UNIDO’s project entitled ‘Strengthening SADC Sustainable Quality Infrastructure System’.


The focus is to strengthen the capacity of food and water testing laboratories.

By strengthening the NLAs through a harmonized approach developed by the SRLA, the NLAs will be capable to disseminate knowledge and provide conformity assessment services to testing laboratories, thereby contribute to SADC region’s quality infrastructure development and export performance.

The SRLA members have been participating in the Test and Measurement Conference (T&MC) organized by NLA-South Africa (NLA-SA) since 2012. The 2018 Test and Measurement Conference: “Turning a new leaf in measurement science and quality assurance” aims to update and support laboratory personnel in the SADC region on new developments in the world of measurement science.  As accredited testing and calibration laboratories are preparing for the change over from ISO/IEC 17025:2005 to the newly published ISO/IEC 17025:2017, the move towards a more risk based approach in line with ISO 9001, among other changes will be highlighted during the Conference. Furthermore, the new standard for the competence of reference material producers, i.e. ISO 17034:2016, new edition of ISO/IEC 17011:2017 for accreditation bodies and supplementary documents for the Guide to Expression of Uncertainty of Measurement (GUM) will be discussed during this event.

In March 2018 at the SADC SQAM meetings in Johannesburg, SADCAS, SRLA and UNIDO agreed to partner together to strengthen the laboratories in the SADC region to obtain accreditation from SADCAS, taking in to account conflict of interest issues. The proposed way forward is to encourage National Accreditation Focal Points (NAFPs) (Government employees who are tasked with promotion of accreditation and marketing of SADCAS as the accreditation body) and the Member State National Laboratory Associations (MS-NLAs) (members of SRLA) to collaborate to identify the laboratories within the region who have started the accreditation process and also those who have expressed interest in starting the process. This will also contribute to ensuring the sustainability of SADCAS.


The following meetings will take place:

T&M Conference and Workshop (SRLA)

Date: 8-10 October 2018

Venue: Lord Charles Hotel and Conference venue, Somerset West, Western Cape, South Africa

NAFP preparatory meeting

Date: 10 October 2018

Venue: The National Laboratory Association South Africa, 1 De Havilland Crescent, Persequor Technopark, Pretoria, South Africa

SRLA/NAFP joint meeting

Date: 11-13 October 2018

Venue: The National Laboratory Association South Africa, 1 De Havilland Crescent, Persequor Technopark, Pretoria, South Africa


The EGM aims to bring together UNIDO representatives from all the SADC Member State Associations and the SRLA in the following ways:

Test and Measurement Conference (T&MC):

  • To raise awareness, update and support NLA’s/laboratory personnel on new developments in the world of measurement science, changes related to ISO/IEC 17025:2017 which is following a risk based approach in line with ISO 9001 etc. 17034:2016 a new standard for the competence of reference material producers and, 17011:2017 a new standard for accreditation bodies.

 NAFP Preparatory Meeting

  • Annual NAFP meeting – identification of potential avenues of cooperation and final preparation of presentations per member state.

UNIDO Project

  1. SRLA Coordination Meeting
  • Reflection on progress made in previous year
  • Progress made on strategic and business plan
  • Discussion on how the regional and national microbiology training went.
  • Present survey results from Laboratory Assessment Tool 2018 and the key areas of technical assistance areas identified.
  • Discuss the website which will be hosted by NLA-SA
  • Discuss potential venues of cooperation with NAFPs
  • Agree upon way forward
  1. SRLA-NAFP Meeting
  • Kick-start the collaboration between NAFPs, SRLA and UNIDO
  • Agree upon key areas of cooperation, activities and deliverables for the next 6 months.
  • Define clear roles and responsibilities of NAFPs and NLAs in the project
  • Agree upon way forward, timeline and deliverables.



Call for Laboratory Equipment Seeding

The National Laboratory Association – South Africa is taking the opportunity of informing its membership and all its associates of a very interesting opportunity which is being offered by Seeding Labs. This US based non-govermental organisation seeks to make a difference in the area of scientific research being conducted at universities.

Their Laboratory Access program is key to enabling scientists at low and middle income universities the opportunity of obtaining laboratory equipment which is often a barrier to key research work being done.

A call for applications was made in May 2018 and for further details, as well as how to apply, can be found here.

Closing date for this round of applications is 27th July 2018 and a further round will run from September 2018 to February 2019.

SANS 17025:2018ED.3 Published

The National Laboratory Association – South Africa is very pleased to advise all members that the latest version of ISO/IEC 17025 General requirements for the competence of testing and calibration laboratories has now been published as a South African National Standard.

This version is identical to the ISO/IEC version and can be obtained from SABS Standards Division – Sales at

Africa Food Safety Workshop

The National Laboratory Association – South Africa is pleased to advise all those who have an interest in Food Testing and related issues that the National Metrology Institute South Africa (NMISA) will be hosting the following workshop. Further details, including registering for the event can be found by clicking on the image below.

The updated programme for the week can be found here.

Africa Food Safety Workshop

Pesticides in Fruit – Proficiency Testing Scheme

The National Laboratory Association – South Africa (NLA-SA) is pleased to advise readers that the National Metrology Institute of South Africa (NMISA) will conducting a Pesticides in Fruit Proficiency Scheme during 2018.

Should you be interested in participating you can find the protocol as well as all the details, including the costs, by clicking on the following link.

If you still require further information please contact Dr Laura Quinn, Principal Scientist: Organic Analysis, at NMISA on +27 12 841 3359

Symposium – Uncertainty of Measurement

The National Laboratory Association – South Africa was extremely pleased to host a very informative day’s symposium at which some of the world’s experts on measurement uncertainty presented both an update on the direction and development of the GUM, as well as some other very interesting related topics. It is not often that such highly qualified experts visit South Africa and those attending were provided with an unique opportunity to interact these experts as well as to network with colleagues from the local testing and calibration community.

The presentations have zipped into one file and made can be downloaded from this link.

The NLA-SA would like to thank all concerned and hope to run similar events in the future.

Establishing a Gas Flow Laboratory

On Thursday the 17th, September 2015 an extremely successful morning was hosted by the NLA-SA at which the NMISA (National Metrology Institute of South Africa) Gas Flow Lab, headed by Eddie Tarnow explained what are the requirements to establish a commercial gas flow laboratory.

This initiative was specially aimed at the requirements for calibrating “bubble flow” meters which are typically used in the fields of Occupational Health and Hygiene area as well as in Ambient Air and Stack Emission applications.

Given the current backlog being experienced by those requiring an accredited calibration, and NMISA being the only lab capable of doing this work, they took the initiative of presenting what the the requirements are to a very interested audience of about 35 people. As a result a number of SANAS Accredited Labs showed interest in availing themselves of this opportunity.

For those that missed the workshop the Powerpoint slides from the presentation are available for download here.


Job Positions and CV’s

The National Laboratory Association – SA is extremely pleased to announce the availability of a new service for laboratories and laboratory personnel.

For many years the NLA-SA has been requested by many of those involved in both Testing as well as Calibration Laboratories to provide an easy to use mechanism to match those seeking employment and those companies/organisations looking to fill positions.

The NLA-SA web site has a menu option marked “Job Opportunities” from which both Positions being offered, as well as CV’s of those seeking employment can be viewed and submitted.

Currently there will be no charge for using the system and after recently going live, we would like to encourage use of this facility.

NB: Please note that the responsibility for all current legal requirements as far as employment is concerned, lies with users, and the NLA-SA will take NO responsibility for the information provided or its ultimate use.

NLA Training Schedule – 2014

We are pleased to advise that the training course schedule for 2014 has been finalised.

Should you be interested in attending any of our courses you are kindly requested to register as soon as possible

We often have to postpone, and in some extreme cases cancel, courses when we are not aware of possible interest and this arises when those considering attending do not advise us.