In developing the Quality Infrastructure (QI) of the South African Development Community (SADC) member states (MS) it became evident that there would be a large reliance on the services of testing and calibration laboratories. In the mid 2000’s, inspired by the National Laboratory Association – South Africa (NLA-SA), a number of SADC Member States instituted the formation of their own associations in order to mobilise support for their members.

Since then 11 out of the 15 SADC MS have formally established independent laboratory associations and who now perform an active role supporting laboratory activities in their own countries.

In 2009 at a meeting arranged by the SADC Secretariat and sponsored by the PTB of Germany, the formation of an informal regional structure was discussed and agreed upon.

After this initial meeting and with additional funding from both PTB and UNIDO (United Nations Industrial Development Organisation) significant progress has been made in establishing a formal structure, including the adoption of a suitable name – SRLA (SADC Regional Laboratory Association).

In the past few years, with the help of UNIDO a number of extremely beneficial projects have been undertaken, all ultimately contributing to the skills and capacity of the laboratories in the region.


2005/6 – First member SADC Member State Laboratory Associations formed

2009 – Decision taken to establish a regional laboratory association.


  • Attendance and participation in the NLA-SA T&M Conference and Workshop
  • Holding of at least one annual meeting.
  • Election of an interim Chair and Vice-Chair.
  • Development of Articles of Association.
  • Investigation of registering a suitable company structure.
  • Multiple training courses.