The Department of Natural Resources and Environment Tasmania celebrates 30-years of continuous accreditation 

Member News May 15, 2024
NATA team

We spoke to them on the eve of this significant milestone. 

Can you tell us a little about who you are and what you do? 

The production of antibody-based ELISA reagents in the area of plant health testing, really took off in the 80s and 90s around the world, especially for the agricultural sector. During that time, researchers at Tasmania’s Department of Agriculture produced (and traded) test reagents for many plant viruses.   

To harness this valuable work, a commercial testing service was set up (TASAG ELISA and Pathogen Testing Service) in 1990 to provide disease outbreak diagnostics.   

As it started to grow, our research scientist and manager saw the value in implementing a quality management system and work with NATA began. By 1994 we were accredited for the testing of plant viruses by ELISA – the first laboratory of its kind in Australia. 

Have you kept the same NATA accreditation for all this time or extended into other areas? 

We have kept the same NATA accreditation except for the addition of electron microscopy tests on key virus morphology types. 

Has NATA accreditation contributed to your, your clients or industry success? 

Our clients really value the extra confidence and integrity in test outcomes as a result of NATA accreditation. Whether it be virus certification within the potato industry or enabling the export of commodities to other countries, endorsed reports provide that extra assurance to regulators in these areas. 

 Is there any advice you would offer someone seeking accreditation? 

If you have the resources, then go for it. When it all comes down to it, NATA accreditation is the most proven mechanism for ensuring ongoing best laboratory practice.