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A new accreditation agency in the country, The Ethiopian National Accreditation Office (ENAO), has received its first applications from five laboratories in Addis Ababa.
Now ENAO will assess the laboratories and assuming they meet the set standards they will become accredited and their information will be released publically.
Genet Gebremedhin, Accreditation Director at ENAO, said that there was no accreditation body in the past.
Testing, calibration and medical laboratories are inspected by ENAO. If the laboratories fail to meet some standards they are given more time and resources to prepare for another inspection.
“When a laboratory is accredited, it means that the organization has demonstrated competence to carry out specific tasks. Accreditation is a demonstration of competence as witnessed by ENAO as a third party accreditation service provider,” Genet told Capital.
Before ENAO came into the picture, laboratories had to invite such companies from places like South Africa and Germany to become accredited. Needles to say this meant a great deal of expense.
ENAO which currently has 30 employees was established a year ago after making preliminary preparations to start the service of accreditation by preparing documents, procedures and instructions as well as training of assessors.
As a part of the five year Growth and Transformation Plan the organization plans to grant accreditation to 60 conformity assessment bodies in different areas such as medical testing laboratories, calibration laboratories, different product testing laboratories, as well as inspection and certification bodies.
ENAO is a complementary institution to the three other government institutions which are part of the government’s National Quality Infrastructure. These three institutions were formed after the former Quality and Standards Authority of Ethiopia was dissolved.
The three other government institutions are the Ethiopian Standards Agency (ESA), Ethiopian Conformity Assessment Enterprise (ECAE) and National Metrology Institute (NMI).