A training on the International Laboratory Accreditation Process was conducted on 30th April 2008 at the Institute of Applied Sciences which operates an international accredited laboratory.
The training was delivered under the NZAID-funded Pacific Water Quality Monitoring (WQM) Programme. The aim of the WQM Programme is to build sustainable national capacity for monitoring the quality of water (drinking, surface, ground and coastal). The implementing partners for the programme are the Pacific Islands Applied Geoscience Commission (SOPAC), the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Institute of Applied Sciences of the University of the South Pacific (IAS-USP).
The participants consisted of representatives from various laboratories around Fiji including the Kinoya National Water Quality Laboratory, the Mineral Resources Department (MRD) laboratory, the Fiji School of Medicine (FSMed) teaching laboratory, the Ministry of Health Mataika House laboratory, the SPC Animal Health Production laboratory and the Koronivia Research Station laboratory.
The training focused on understanding of quality control (QC) and quality assurance (QA) practices, basic practices followed by an analytical laboratory (even in absence of accreditation), requirements of International Laboratory Accreditation (ISO/IEC standard). There were also discussions on the complexity of obtaining and maintaining accreditation and some immediate steps that the laboratories need to undertake to improve or strengthen their existing laboratory work.