Internationalisation of laboratory services

We know laboratories as service providers to other sectors in the same economy. Testing laboratories check compliance, e.g., whether foodstuffs meet the requirements of hygiene standards or do not contain excessive loads of heavy metals. Clinical laboratories test people and animals for certain diseases. Calibration laboratories ensure that business partners can rely on each other’s measurement results.

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Quality infrastructure as an ally of the circular economy

It’s time for a new economy

Our current economic model has already exceeded the Earth’s ecological limits and is endangering the stability of the ecosystem and the livelihoods of humankind.

Changes of 7 planetary boundaries since 1950. The green shaded polygon represents the safe operating space. Source: Steffen et al. 2015
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Data on international standards

QI Data Series

What are the differences between countries using international standards?

For decades, the United States, Western Europe and Japan have led international standard development. Representatives of these countries chaired most international standards committees and led standard making through agenda-setting and the know-how of national companies and scientific institutions. Representatives from other countries also participated in standards committees but chaired only a few technical committees. Standards takers are those countries that adopt standards but do not participate in developing those standards.

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Quality infrastructure for the service sector

Quality infrastructure has its origins in the industrial revolution of the 19th century, first in England, then throughout Western Europe and the USA, and later spread to Japan and other parts of Europe and Asia during the transition from agrarian to industrial societies. For a long time, QI was mainly a matter of checking whether physical products met defined technical specifications. Testing served both the safety of products and their usability in value-added processes based on the division of labour. Thus, the measurement of physical units was at the centre of the entire quality system.

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Cross-frontier accreditation: practice and impact

Accreditation builds trust in international trade

Accreditation is a valuable tool for building trust in international trade. Accreditation bodies assess and confirm the technical competence and independence of conformity assessment service providers, i.e. testing laboratories, inspection and certification bodies.

By multilateral agreements, accreditation bodies recognise the equivalence of their services. Mutual recognition prevents tests or certifications from being issued more than once and reduces transaction costs for companies.

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