NATA & COVID-19

NATA is, without question, Australia’s leading body for accrediting laboratories for COVID-19 as well as other essential COVID-19 testing activities.

In 2020, NATA’s natural ability to adapt to emergency situations saw unprecedented accreditation for key organisations to better manage the COVID-19 pandemic.

NATA has accredited laboratories for Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR), Rapid Antigen Testing (RAT) and Serology testing.

Click here to search for a NATA accredited COVID testing laboratory.

Rapid accreditation

Since March 2020, and with the escalation of the pandemic and circumstances dictating a requirement for remote and online assessments, NATA has granted accreditation to front line organisations in rapid time frames and without compromising any technical rigour.

Examples include the high-demand for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) with NATA rapidly accrediting the CSIRO for the testing of surgical masks and the National Institute of Measurement (NMI) for testing hand sanitiser.

Emergency Laboratory Monitoring Services (ELMS)

Adding additional scope to COVID-19 management, NATA created Emergency Laboratory Monitoring Services (ELMS) specifically for laboratories that are not NATA accredited but are testing PPE during the pandemic.

These initiatives highlight NATA’s commitment to the public interest and positions it well for future challenges should they arise.

A testing focus

Since the announcement of the pandemic in March 2020, NATA has accredited more than 160 laboratories for COVID-19 testing across numerous test areas.

With COVID-19 cases and testing numbers increasing every day knowing NATA accredited laboratories are undertaking world-class testing not only provides certainty and peace of mind, but importantly, minimises your and the community’s risk.

What tests are being conducted by NATA accredited laboratories?

  1. Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) testing
    The most common test where a sample is taken via a swab from the nose, throat or saliva. See how NATA accredited laboratory testing works for PCR

  2. Rapid Antigen Testing (RAT)
    Also taken via a swab from the nose and throat, RAT provides a rapid result turnaround. See how NATA accredited laboratory testing works for RAT

  3. Serology (antibody) testing
    Serology (antibody) testing takes a sample of blood to look for antibodies against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Serology testing is key to knowing the extent of the virus’ spread and helps inform the level of past infection and vaccination. See how NATA accredited laboratory testing works for Serology antibody testing.

Additional information

In regard to Rapid Antigen Testing (RAT), we note the Public Health Laboratory Network (PHLN), Communicable Diseases Network Australia (CDNA) and Royal College of Pathologists of Australia (RCPA) have recently (August 2021) released updated advice on the use of SARS-CoV-2 RAT testing.

Both PHLN and CDNA also have a host of advisory documents for COVID-19 related information and testing techniques including serology and PCR. 

Additional information on COVID-19 can also be found on the Department of Health Website.  

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Benefits of being a NATA accredited organisation

NATA accredits organisations to perform testing and inspection activities for their products and services. This gives consumers the assurance they need to make safe, healthy and reliable choices. When you choose to become NATA accredited, you can be sure of a number of competitive advantages for your business.
Assurance
NATA members receive a globally-recognised, peer-reviewed and government endorsed accreditation that provides a unique level of assurance to members, their clients and the community.
Competence
Our accreditation provides an independent benchmark for technical competence. Receiving NATA accreditation demonstrates to customers your organisation’s commitment to quality, safety and reliability of products and services.
Recognition
NATA accreditation is both nationally and internationally recognised. This provides a competitive advantage when compared to non-accredited organisations and ensures you are market-ready to capitalise on trade opportunities.
Training
NATA has been training individuals and teams both nationally and internationally for over 20 years and enjoys a global reputation for the quality of its courses and programs. Our active role in international accreditation education has seen us conduct training in over 20 countries.
International
NATA’s long standing and active involvement with international groups enables our members to gain international recognition for their accreditation and minimises the need for multiple assessments from different suppliers.
Innovation
NATA provides innovative and timely business solutions that meet the needs of our members and fulfil the expectations of the community. We have the experience and resources to ensure your accreditation provides you and your organisation with unique advantages.