Expression of interest to join the Life Sciences Accreditation Advisory Committee

12 December 2019

Expression of InterestThe Life Sciences Accreditation Advisory Committee (LSAAC) advises NATA on technical issues related to life sciences in the areas of agribusiness, environment, food and beverage, healthcare, pharmaceutical and media production.

The position is honorary with the term of appointment being five years.  Reappointment may be possible following the initial term.

The Committee convenes at 12 to 24 month intervals with NATA meeting all costs for travel and accommodation.  It is expected that Committee members make themselves available to attend all meetings in person.

Committee members are appointed for their knowledge and technical expertise.  The duties of a Committee member include:

  • Review of NATA’s Technical Criteria applicable to the Life Sciences Sector;
  • Review of assessment reports for applicant and accredited facilities, where required;
  • Provision of advice on technical issues arising from assessment activity; and
  • Review and approval of the appointment of technical assessors.

Further information about the role of the AAC, Chair and Members can be obtained from the Technical Committees page.

The LSAAC is currently seeking expressions of interest to join the Committee from persons qualified and experienced in the following disciplines:

  • Plant Pathology
  • Molecular Testing
  • Occupational Hygiene
  • Pharmaceutical Microbiology
  • Chemical Metrology
  • Food Allergens
  • Aquatic Biology
  • Environmental Chemistry

Activities covered by these disciplines include but may not be limited to:

Food allergen proteins and Gluten

Testing of raw ingredients, finished products and food preparation surfaces for allergenic proteins and Gluten.  NATA is seeking expressions of interest from persons qualified and experienced in the current testing methodologies that are available and under development including ELISA, lateral flow, PCR and LC-MS-MS.

Pharmaceutical Testing

Testing of prescription, over the counter and complementary medicines, sunscreens, medical devices and other therapeutic goods for a range of tests including the following: microbiological limits testing; biocide and bioburden testing, sterility testing; LAL testing; vitamin assays and antibiotic assays.  In addition the successful applicant must also have a thorough knowledge of the requirements of the British Pharmacopeia, United States Pharmacopeia and the Therapeutic Goods Administration Regulations.  Knowledge of the regulations of other economies pertaining to the testing of these products would also be advantageous.

Chemical Metrology

Encompassing method validation and verification, measurement uncertainty, traceability, reference materials and proficiency testing.

Environmental chemistry

Testing for “pollutants” in water, sediments, solid wastes, leachates and soils.  The successful applicant will have experience of new and emerging environmental pollutants including PFAS compounds and micro-plastics.

Aquatic Biology

Including phycology, free living and enteric protozoa, macro and micro-invertebrates and waterborne viruses.

Occupational Hygiene

Including biological, chemical and physical workplace hazards including the identification and counting of asbestos and respirable quartz, heavy metals in surface coatings and dusts.  The successful applicant will have experience of a broad range of techniques employed to measure and monitor work place hazards in the workplace and testing techniques performed under laboratory conditions.

Molecular Testing

Nucleic acid extraction, PCR (conventional, consensus, nested, mass tag, real time, multiplex), Digital PCR, Portable real time PCR, Isothermal amplification, Genome sequencing (Sanger and MPS).  This is rapidly evolving area and the successful applicant will have a broad knowledge of current and emerging technologies.

Plant Pathology

Including testing for bacterial, viral and fungal pathogens and their vectors and plant parasites.

Applicants must:

  • Hold a degree in a relevant subject applicable to the area of expertise and have a minimum of 10 years practical experience;
  • Have a thorough knowledge of the applicable Australian and international regulatory environment;

Be familiar with NATA’s accreditation requirements through either practical experience in an accredited facility or experience as a NATA technical assessor;
Be committed to NATA and the accreditation process;
Be committed to abide by NATA’s policies, including the need to maintain confidentiality, be objective, act impartially and to declare any conflicts of interest; and

  • Prepare for and attend AAC meetings and provide written reports on activities related to their specific discipline.

It is also desirable that applicants can demonstrate experience in the following areas:

  • Publications and/or presentations related to the relevant discipline(s);
  • Awareness of regulators and industry associations;
  • Membership of and active participation in the activities of professional societies and industry groups;
  • Awareness of international activities including standards development.

Applicants are requested to apply for one position only and clearly state that position in the covering letter.

Expressions of interest comprising of a covering letter detailing why you wish to join the Committee, addressing the requirements/attributes detailed above, and a current resume should be forwarded to the Sector Manager - Life Sciences, Mr Neil Shepherd at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., copied to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Applications will close on 17 January 2020 and will be considered by the current LSAAC Members.

Final approval of AAC membership rests with the NATA Board.