PHILIPSBURG:--- St. Maarten Laboratory Services N.V. (SLS), located in St. Maarten, Dutch West Indies, is pleased to announce that our medical and environmental laboratories have been accredited for two renowned, internationally recognized standards from the American Association for Laboratory Accreditation (A2LA): ISO 15189 and ISO/IEC 17025. The ISO 15189 certification is the international standard that specifies requirements for quality in medical laboratories, and the ISO/IEC 17025 certification sets standards for environmental laboratories. By obtaining these two certificates, SLS reaffirms its commitment to serve the St. Maarten community and neighboring islands and to deliver accurate and reliable results by having a solid quality management system in place.
What is ISO?
The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) develops and publishes various international standards to ensure that materials, products, processes, and services that are fit for the purpose. The ISO 15189 & ISO/IEC 17025 are two important internationally accepted standards for a laboratory test and measurement products. Accreditation bodies use these standards specifically to assess relevant factors of a laboratory’s ability to produce precise and accurate results. These standards are also used to assess the competency of the laboratory’s staff, which is critical to good management and good laboratory practices, among other things.
Journey to Accreditation
The process of SLS’s accreditation started in 2014. At that time, many quality documents had to be written and put into effect, so both the medical and environmental labs could be in compliance with the two above-mentioned ISO norms. This required hard work, dedication and motivation from the entire SLS staff. Four years later, in November of 2018, SLS was ready to request its application for accreditation from A2LA. In May of 2019, two auditors from A2LA (United States) came to St. Maarten to audit both laboratories over a three-day period. These were very intense days for SLS. On February 10, 2020, after eight months of back and forth correspondence with A2LA, SLS received the exciting news that both laboratories attained their ISO accreditation.
Moving forward with Accreditation
For SLS, this is a milestone achievement for the laboratory and for Country St. Maarten as this places SLS’s laboratory services on par with world-class laboratories. This certification is the beginning of a beautiful journey for the laboratory and does not end with this achievement. We pledge to maintain our accreditation and continue to provide the highest quality results and services to our community by working in compliance with international standards. The maintenance of the laboratory’s accreditation will be monitored by A2LA and the Inspectorate of VSA.