Frequently Asked Questions

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1. How much will it cost my company to become PAC accredited?

A. The current application fee and daily rates can be found on PAC web site All assessment fees are effort related i.e., dependent on the complexity of scope of accreditation being sought. These fees include not just the time the assessment team spend at your site but also office time. Travel and subsistence are charged at cost.

2. How do I become accredited as an individual asbestos surveyor?

A. Currently there are no PAC accredited Certification Bodies for personnel certification schemes relating to asbestos surveys. Individuals that are sole traders are not precluded from seeking accreditation as an organization in accordance with the requirements of ISO/IEC 17020.

3. Is the certificate issued by a PAC accredited laboratory for my product going to be recognized in other countries?

A. If the certificate is issued under the laboratory's scope of accreditation, then the certificate should be recognized in those countries whose national accreditation bodies are signatory to the ILAC multilateral agreement.

4. What does PAC Accreditation Cost?

A. The cost to obtain accreditation will vary depending on the size of the organization seeking accreditation, the size of the Scope of Accreditation, and the organization's readiness for assessment.

5. Is ..... an PAC accredited certification body?

A. PAC accredited Certification Bodies (CBs) can be recognized by the use of the Logo in their issued certificates, see also the list of PAC accredited certification bodies on our website: Certification Bodies.

6. One of my suppliers has an ISO 9000 certificate from a body that does not appear on your list of accredited Certification Bodies - is it legal?

A. PAC is aware of the existence of non-PAC accredited certification bodies offering ISO 9000 certification. However, it is not mandatory for certification bodies to seek PAC accreditation.
PAC is unable to comment on the way in which the non-PAC accredited bodies carry out their certification activities since PAC has not assessed or accredited those bodies. PAC accredited CBs are required to meet internationally agreed criteria such as ISO Guide 62/66 or ISO/IEC 17021 and are, therefore, not allowed to offer consultancy, assessment and certification as a "one-stop shop" package. They are also required to carry out a contract review with their potential clients to ensure that they are able to supply the certification that is required by them. Only PAC accredited CBs and their certificated organizations are allowed to make use of the PAC accreditation logo.

7. How I become ISO 9000 do accredited?

A. ISO 9001:2000 is a certification standard. PAC does not carry out assessments to this standard itself but assesses and accredits Certification Bodies for a defined scope of accreditation i.e., relating to specific areas of industry. The following link will help you with background to the ISO 9001 standard and also how to select a Certification Body: You can access the detailed scopes of accreditation for all the PAC accredited Certification Bodies

8. What is the "scope of accreditation"?

A. The list of specific tests, types of tests or calibrations for which a laboratory is found competent is listed in a scope of accreditation. The final content of the scope must be approved by the assessor(s) and the selected members of the PAC Accreditation Council. For calibration laboratories, the scope normally includes the parameters, ranges of measurement, the best uncertainty associated with each range (see Question 12), and the techniques/equipment used to perform the calibrations. It is very important to note that scopes don't always include all the laboratory's capabilities. This is due either to the laboratory's request to limit the scope, or because the assessors have not been able to affirm the lab's competency in all areas for which the laboratory was seeking accreditation. Capabilities that are not listed on the scope are not covered by the laboratory's PAC accreditation.

9. What are obligations regarding the use of PAC accreditation symbol on my inspection reports if my company becomes accredited?

A. PAC launches alternative training seminars on its policies, procedures and regulations including its regulation of using accreditation symbols, you can contact PAC and being enrolled in one of those seminars, you can also download from PAC website Furthermore, once you have been PAC accredited, you will receive a soft copy of PAC accreditation symbol and the accreditation certificate.

10. How is "Laboratory Accreditation" different from "Quality Systems Registration / Certification"?

A. Terms such as "quality system registration" or "audit to the intent of..." convey a process of verifying that the organization in question is following a documented quality system in accordance with the quality system elements of standards (such as ISO 9000 or even ISO/IEC 17025). These processes do not normally assess for technical competency. Auditors used for such processes may have general experience in the type of business being audited but are not normally technical experts. Technical competency is not evaluated during these processes.

11. What is "laboratory accreditation"?

A. Laboratory accreditation is defined as formal recognition of an organization's technical competency to perform specific tests, types of tests, or calibrations. The assessors used to conduct the laboratory accreditation assessments must be technical experts in their field. The assessors must verify the laboratory's specific capabilities that are then listed on a "scope of accreditation". Laboratories must also participate in proficiency testing on a regular basis to demonstrate their competency. The general requirements for laboratory accreditation are contained in ISO/IEC 17025. This standard contains quality system requirements and technical requirements that the laboratories must meet. Laboratory accreditation requirements, however, go beyond just ISO/IEC 17025.

12. Why are some best uncertainties given as functions of length or resolution?

A. The best uncertainty is normally stated numerically but where the best uncertainty is a function of the quantity to which it refers, it should be given in the form of an equation One will often see this on scopes for calipers, for example, where resolution is the dominant uncertainty contributor and the best uncertainty is written as a function of the resolution (e.g., U= 0.4 R m, in where "R" is the resolution in micro inches).

13. Our laboratory intends to apply for accreditation in the next several weeks. When should we enroll in proficiency testing programs?

A. Laboratories that intend to apply in the near future should enroll in available proficiency testing programs as soon as possible. PAC requires at least one PT activity prior to accreditation to demonstrate competency. It can take several weeks before a PT program can include you on the sample distribution list and this could delay your final accreditation.

14. What are the most important factors that affect the number of assessors?

A. The most important factors in determining the number of assessors that will be assigned by PAC to perform an assessment is the size and breadth of the proposed scope of accreditation.

15. How long will it take my company to become PAC accredited?

A. The exact time frames between formal application and grant of accreditation are very much dependent on the client's compliance with requirements, complexity of scope of accreditation, clearance of non-compliances etc by the organization being assessed. PAC does, however, have target time frames that are set for the various stages of the PAC parts of the process.