NATA confirms new five-year Memorandum of Understanding with Commonwealth of Australia

Media Releases June 25, 2024
NATA confirms new five-year Memorandum of Understanding with Commonwealth of Australia
NATA team

The National Association of Testing Authorities continues its commitment to offering confidence for the Australian public and Government through the MoU with the Department of Industry Science and Resources (DISR)

25 June 2024, Sydney: The National Association of Testing Authorities (NATA) has signed a new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Commonwealth of Australia.  
Under the MoU, the Commonwealth Government recognises NATA as Australia’s national authority for the accreditation of laboratories, reference materials producers, proficiency testing providers and biobanks, and a peak authority for the accreditation of inspection bodies. The Government also recognises NATA as Australia’s compliance monitoring authority of the OECD Principles of Good Laboratory Practice. 

The first MoU of this kind was signed back in 1988, with the latest now recognising NATA as the National Authority for the accreditation of proficiency testing providers as well as biobanks.  
Biobanking is an update to previous MoUs, following NATA’s recognition in 2023 by the Asia-Pacific Accreditation Co-operation as one of only two accreditation bodies globally to be evaluated and formally recognised for these activities. 

Jennifer Evans, NATA CEO said: “NATA is proud to not only be confirmed as the National Authority for laboratory accreditation and producers of reference materials, but also now the National Authority for accreditation of Proficiency Testing scheme providers and biobanks”. 

The MoU commits NATA to operate all accreditation programs including those supporting international trade, in compliance with ISO/IEC 17011, the international standard for accreditation of conformity assessment bodies. 
This agreement demonstrates a strengthened and ongoing relationship between the Australian Government and NATA, acknowledging that confidence in the reliability of testing results is a prerequisite for sound decision making by government, business and individuals. 

It also facilitates the exchange of strategic information to ensure the availability of accredited infrastructure to meet current and emerging needs.  

Under the arrangement, The Commonwealth commits to communicating with the accreditation body over matters of national interest that require NATA’s engagement. 

Evans added: “For more than 36 years, NATA has offered the reassurance in laboratory testing for the Commonwealth Government in Australia and now we continue that journey into new fields such as biobanking. This latest MoU continues to provide confidence for industry and a hidden safety net for all Australians.  

“As the world’s oldest accreditation body, NATA has and will continue to serve the nation and public’s best interests, as we have, for the best part of eight decades.” 

Australia has a strong contribution to the global Technical Standards and Conformance Infrastructure through representation on many standard writing committees internationally and in international accreditation through the International Laboratory Accreditation Co-operation (ILAC) and the Asia-Pacific Accreditation Co-operation (APAC), an organisation chaired by Evans. All of which supports Australia’s economic trade efforts globally.  

The important and wide impact of accreditation, testing and conformity assessment is currently under the spotlight at Accreditation Matters 2024, at the ICC in Sydney today. 

NATA has a number of additional MoUs and formal agreements across Federal and State/Territory Government agencies. 

For more information about any of these topics, please visit: 

The National Association of Testing Authorities website 

The Department of Science Industry and Resources 


Notes to editors:  

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About NATA  

The National Association of Testing Authorities (NATA) provides accreditation for laboratories to ensure testing results can be relied on and trusted. As Australia’s sole internationally recognised accreditation authority, NATA’s role is to uphold the national standards of technical competence for those delivering products or services to the general public. Through its extensive network, NATA provides assessment, accreditation and training services to laboratories and technical facilities.