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The role of the National Association of Testing Authorities

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The National Association of Testing Authorities (NATA) is a government-endorsed, independent, not-for-profit company that operates as an association owned by its members, with all NATA-accredited organisations members of the Association.

The NATA states that its role is to "serve the national and public interest by ensuring that member facilities comply with relevant international and Australian standards and so are competent to provide consistently reliable testing, calibration, measurement and inspection data to government, industry and the wider community."

To this end, the NATA is one of four separate bodies that form Australia's standards and conformance infrastructure, an important mechanism for improving the business efficiency and competitiveness of Australian industry in international and national markets.

The other bodies that form this infrastructure are Standards Australia, the National Measurement Institute (NMI) and the Joint Accreditation System of Australia and New Zealand (JAS-ANZ).

NATA also represents Australia in:
  • the International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC)
  • the Asia Pacific Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (APLAC); and
  • the OECD Working Group on Good Laboratory Practice.
The above roles are recognised by the Australian Government in a Memorandum of Understanding with NATA. Under this MOU, the Commonwealth Government:
  • uses NATA facilities to meet its testing needs, wherever possible
  • encourages State Governments and other instrumentalities to do likewise; and
  • commits all Commonwealth Government laboratories to obtain and maintain NATA accreditation, where appropriate.

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