National Laboratory of eSwatini (NLAE)
“Excellence in measurement service”
The NLAS is a registered non-governmental organization in the Kingdom of Swaziland
1. Short introduction of the role of test and calibration laboratories in facilitating trade
Metrology and calibration are important to all areas, from global commerce to our personal lives. These are vital, not only for individuals and organizations but also for national and international economic health & safety; that products and services meet global demand without causing undue risk to the health and safety of consumers. Testing and calibration help to promote the uptake of products and services by consumers which results to enhanced sales and economic growth hence there is a need to ensure that all test and calibration laboratories can produce reliable services.
2. Who are we and why do we exist?
The National Laboratory Association of Swaziland is a non-governmental organization (NGO) for laboratory stakeholders, which was legally registered in 2010. In light of the fact that there are many laboratories in Swaziland which operate in silos there was a need to establish a forum for interaction of stakeholders in order to improve the testing and calibration sector through implementation of quality management systems and accreditation towards enhancement of trade and economic growth. The association, which also serves as a voice of the country’s laboratories to the SADC Region and world at large as it is a member of the SADC Regional Laboratory Association (SRLA), draws its membership from laboratory practitioners, students, organizations, etc.
3. What do we do?
To facilitate improvements in testing and calibration services through capacity building, knowledge and technology transfer among member laboratories. To influence relevant legislation and advocate for implementation of laboratory quality management systems towards world class service delivery, thus contributing to economic growth.
To be a recognized body of experts that drives member interests on issues of testing, measurement, calibration and promotion of accreditation in laboratories throughout Swaziland and beyond.
a. To provide a forum for consultation, knowledge/info/resource sharing, advice and support on laboratory issues
b. To assist in interpretation of accreditation requirements, to identify generic national accreditation needs & seek for assistance
c. To provide a mechanism for technology/skills transfer amongst members through workshops, seminars, etc.
d. To support improvements in laboratory quality infrastructure, assisting member facilities towards attaining accreditation (ISO 17025, 15189)
e. To reduce TBT’s and to enhance Swaziland’s economic growth through quality
4. How we can help you/ Service offering
NLAE has conducted surveys on local laboratories and has been able to identify the general needs of local laboratories. To that cause, NLAE has prepared products and networks which offer free/affordable solutions to the general needs of laboratories in Swaziland. Some of the planned/ongoing services include workshops, training courses, water proficiency testing scheme, technical support to laboratories on the route to accreditation, benchmarking, lab equipment maintenance coordination, lab waste management coordination, etc.
5. Impact Achieved so far
Ever since the organization was established, a lot of awareness on the significance of the testing and calibration sector and its role in trade promotion and safety of consumers has been raised. The organization is a recognized and key stakeholder within the quality infrastructure not only in Swaziland but also within the Region. Through the raised awareness on quality of work done by laboratories, there has been an increase in the focus on accreditation as more laboratories are working on getting accreditation. Some of the achievements made by the association include the following:
• Strategic plan and business plan developed
• Increased membership
• Quarterly workshops program
• Training courses conducted
• Operational Water PTS
|Individual||Workshops, training, networking|
|Student||Workshops, training, networking|
|Organizational||PTS, Improvement support, image, training for employees|
• Laboratory types:
• Testing: 66.2%
• Medical: 30%
• Calibration: 3.8%
• Laboratory disciplines:
• Food: 37.8%
• Water: 30.4%
• Medical: 19.6%
• Membership fees available upon requested
7. Management of the MS-NLA
• The business of the association is managed by a 7-member executive committee which plans the annual activities of the association. The association’s membership elects six committee members during elections which are held at the end of the executive’s 2-year term. Being in the executive committee is voluntary work as no payment or incentive is given to the members. The association’s is secretariat at the Swaziland Standards Authority (SWASA) hence according to the NLAE constitution, SWASA provides a person who serves as the secretary of the association.
• NLAE is a member of the SADC Regional Laboratory Association (SRLA), which is an association constituted of the different member state laboratory association with the Region. Through this affiliation, the organization is able to network and benefit from sponsorships that are pumped into the Region for testing and calibration laboratories.
8. How do you contact us?
National Laboratory Association of Swaziland
P.O. Box D281
Tel: +268 2518 4610/33
Swaziland Standards Authority
Plot 247, Marbel Construction Building
King Mswati III Avenue East
Matsapha Industrial Estate
9. Important SQAM dates
• World Metrology Day, 20 May;
• World Accreditation Day, 9 June;
• World Standards Day, 14 October;
• World Quality Day, 2nd Thursday of November.