Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Program



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September 2014

News

Don't forget! It's time to renew your laboratory's MNELAP accreditation

The ELDO system is now available for laboratories to apply to renew their accreditation. To ensure no lapse in your laboratory accreditation you must submit a completed application to the MDH Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Program (MNELAP) on or before October 31st of each calendar year. Please plan accordingly to allow enough time for completing the online application form, uploading documents and requesting payment from your financial office.

New Fields of Testing (FOTs) Added

MNELAP recently added approximately 800 new pre-associated fields of testing (FOTs) to its application.  All the previous pre-associated FOTs are still available for accreditation. When completing the renewal application, please ensure that you choose the method and version that meets your clients’ requirements. If you have any questions on the correct method/version to choose, please check with your client (e.g. MPCA, EH) before submitting your application.

Available FOTs

Secondary Accreditation

If your laboratory is applying for secondary accreditation through Minnesota, please ensure that you upload your most recent assessment report and scope and certificate from your primary accreditation body as well as all other required documentation.  The assessment report, scope, and certificate must be uploaded into the additional document module in ELDO.

Application Questions

Lynn Boysen will be available to answer your specific application questions every Thursday, beginning October 2nd through October 30th from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.  MNELAP will attempt to respond within three business days to application questions received at other times then during this designated period. Please call Lynn at 218-332-5164 or email at lynn.boysen@state.mn.us

Trainings Available

How to Use ELDO

If you are new to the ELDO system, or need a refresher, MNELAP recommends that you review the ELDO on-demand training presentations and/or review the ELDO User Guide. The ELDO on-demand training presentations are broken into modules describing the steps of the application process and responding to a Corrective Action finding.

ELDO On-Demand Training

ELDO User Guide

Chromatography Course
Minnesota Chromatography Forum is offering a new 3-day course in St. Paul, September 16 -18, 2014, titled Practical GC/MS.

Practical GC/MS Information and Registration

Data Integrity and Ethics Course
The Association of Public Health Laboratories (APHL) is offering a free webinar on September 16, 2014 titled Ethics and Data Integrity for Environmental Labs.

Ethics and Data Integrity Course Information and Registration 

July 2014

News

Applications Now Being Accepted for Third Party Individual Assessors and Assessment Organizations

MNELAP is now accepting applications from assessment organizations and individual assessors interested in performing environmental laboratory assessments for compliance with our state laws and rules, including the 2003 NELAC Standard and the 2009 TNI Standard.

The application forms and information are posted on the MNELAP website at:

MNELAP Assessor Information

Applications are due by 4:30 p.m. (Central) on August 7, 2014.

Please feel free to distribute this notification to others who may be interested.

National Conference Announcement

The TNI Semiannual Meeting, Forum on Laboratory Accreditation, is being held August 4 - 8, 2014 in Washington D.C. The conference information has been added to the MNELAP Upcoming Events page.

Upcoming Events

Comment Period TNI Working Draft Standards

Pursuant to TNI SOP 2-100 (Procedures Governing Standards Development), any stakeholder or stakeholder group is invited to submit written comments on working draft standards. The following draft standards are open for comment: V1M4 (Calibration), V1M6 (Radiochemistry), V4 (Proficiency Testing). The working draft standards can be found under the news banner on the NELAC Institute website.

The NELAC Institute

May 2014 - Amended

News

New Analyte List

MNELAP just posted an updated Analyte List on the website under Tools/Resources and then Analytes & FOTs Available. The update added abamectin, bifenazate, bifenthrin, carbaryl, cypermethrin, diazinon, myclobutanil, paclobutrazol, permethrin, resmethrin to the list of analytes available for accreditation. The update is effective as of May 27, 2014.

List of Analytes Available for Accreditation (PDF: 59KB/13 pages) 

Updated List of Approved Independent Assessors and Assessment Organizations

The MNELAP Selection Committee has reviewed additional independent assessors’ and assessment organizations’ applications and has provided MNELAP with the list of recommended approvals. MNELAP accepted the recommendations of the Selection Committee.

The updated list of approved independent assessors and assessment organizations can be found on the MNELAP website on the Assessment Information page.

Assessment Information

All laboratories issued accreditation with MNELAP must complete an onsite assessment and make all corrective actions at least once every 24 months. Laboratories must only use approved assessors from the MNELAP published list. 

If you have more questions about selecting an assessor, you can contact Lynn Boysen at 218-332-5164.

January 2014

News

Applications Now Being Accepted for 3rd Party Individual Assessors and Assessment Organizations

MNELAP is now accepting applications from assessment organizations and individual assessors interested in performing assessments for compliance with our state laws and rules, including the 2003 NELAC Standard and the 2009 TNI Standard. 

There are two application forms: 

Assessor Application and Instructions (PDF: 145 KB/9 pages)

Assessor Application and Instructions (Word: 91 KB/9 pages)

Assessment Organization Application and Instructions (PDF: 125 KB/8 pages)

Assessment Organization Application and Instructions (Word: 87 KB/8 pages)

Approved assessors and assessment organizations will have to read and sign the MDH Data Practices and Data Security Checklist for Contractors.

MDH Data Practices and Security Checklist for Contractors (PDF: 125 KB/7 pages)

Applications are due by 2:30 p.m. (Central) on February 12, 2014.

The Minnesota Statutes amendments include provisions for approval of employees of state or federal agencies with established agreements for mutual assistance or recognition with MDH. Therefore, state and federal employees should not use this application process.

After review of the applications, the selection committee will report their recommendations to the MNELAP. MNELAP will post a list of qualified assessors and organizations on its web page and send notifications to applicants. Approvals for assessors and organizations may extend from the date of notification/posting through December 31, 2014. Please note that meeting the qualifications and requirements does not guarantee acceptance as an assessor.

Please feel free to distribute this notification and the attached forms to others who may be interested. This announcement and the application forms are also posted on the MNELAP website at:

MNELAP Assessor Information

November 2013

News

On-demand Training Demonstrations of the ELDO System are now Available

On-demand training demonstrations of the ELDO system are now available to MNELAP laboratories.  The demonstrations are located on the MNELAP website.  The link for the demonstrations is located under the “Tools/Resources” heading on the left side of the home page.

Training for Laboratories

The demonstrations are divided into six different chapters to make them easier to view.  The titles of the chapters are listed below:

Introduction
Basic Information
Submitting an Application
Assessments
Uploading Documents
Viewing Proficiency Test Results

If you have any problems viewing these demonstrations on your computer, please contact Kim Sandrock at 651-201-5322 for assistance.

Laboratory Assessments

Please remember to remind the independent assessor you contract with to perform your onsite assessment to immediately put the onsite assessment dates into ELDO. This step allows MNELAP to know that the assessment date is confirmed. Laboratories with past due assessments must have an assessment date entered in ELDO or their renewal application review may be delayed.

MN Statute Change

The MN Statute governing the MNELAP program was changed this year by adding new language regarding the use of contract assessors and contract assessment organizations. Please review this Statute if you would like more specific information about MNELAP's requirements and procedures for the use of contract assessors and contract assessment organizations.

MN Statute 144.98

Conference Announcement

The TNI Semiannual Meeting: Forum on Laboratory Accreditation is being held on Jan 27 - 30, 2014 in Louisville, KY. The conference information has been added to the MNELAP Upcoming Events page.

Upcoming Events

October 2013 - Amended

News

Additional paragraph added to this news item

Application Renewal Deadline is Almost Here

The application for renewal of your laboratory’s accreditation is available in the MDH Environmental Laboratory Data Online (ELDO) System.

ELDO

The ELDO system now automatically generates an invoice (viewable and printable by you) at the time the application is submitted to MNELAP. Please ensure that your check includes the following information: your laboratory name, state-issued Lab ID or EPA ID, and the invoice ID. Please ensure your check is remitted to the correct payee and the address as listed on the invoice. Payments with incomplete information or with incorrect payment amounts will be returned.

The fee total is calculated based on the entries noted in the laboratory’s application, the application type, and the date the application was submitted to MNELAP. The laboratory's required fee will be verified by MNELAP upon technical review of the application by the assessor.

Applications, documentation, and fee payments are due to MNELAP on or before October 31, 2013.  Per MN Statute 144.98 Subd. 3b. (b), a late fee of $200.00 is added to the annual fee for accredited laboratories submitting renewal applications after November 1.  

Please feel free to contact MNELAP if you have questions or concerns. You may reach us by calling the Public Health Laboratory Division’s general phone number at 651-201-5324 and requesting to speak to an available MNELAP assessor.

Updated List of Approved Independent Assessors and Assessment Organizations

The MNELAP Selection Committee has reviewed additional independent assessor applications and the assessment organization applications and has provided MNELAP with the list of recommended approvals.

Assessment Information

Please note that when contacting an approved assessment organization, you must also select an approved independent assessor on the Approved List of Contract Assessors on the MNELAP website.

If you are due for an assessment now, you may contact an assessor; however, the assessors cannot confirm scheduling until they have completed a short orientation course provided by MNELAP.

If you have more questions about selecting an assessor, you can contact Lynn Boysen at 218-332-5164.

September 2013 - Amended

News

Application Renewal Time

Laboratories may now submit their renewal applications in the ELDO system.  MNELAP has developed an online training demonstration of the ELDO system.  Laboratories will be notified when it is available for viewing.  If you have questions about the online application process before this demonstration is available, please consult your current ELDO User Guide, or contact us at (651) 201-5324.  We cannot guarantee that staff is available on-demand each day of the renewal cycle to answer questions about logging-in or navigating the system. We try to return calls within two business days.

Additional paragraph added to this news item

The MNELAP application for renewal of accreditation application (ELDO application, documents and fees) must be received by Thursday, October 31, 2013. A late fee of $200 shall be added to the annual fee for accredited laboratories submitting renewal applications to the commissioner after November 1, as per Minnesota Statutes 144.98.

List of Approved Independent Assessors

The MNELAP Selection Committee has reviewed the assessors’ applications and has provided MNELAP with the list of recommended approvals. The list of approved assessors is now posted on our web page at:

MNELAP Assessment Information

If you are due for an assessment now, you may contact an assessor; however, the assessors cannot confirm scheduling until they have completed a short orientation course provided by MNELAP.  All assessors should have completed this orientation and may begin assessments by September 30th.

If you have more questions about selecting an assessor, you can contact Lynn Boysen at (218) 332-5164.

New General Phone Number for MNELAP

We know it can be difficult to reach a MNELAP staff member as we are frequently away from our desks performing accreditation tasks. To avoid wasting your time attempting to call back, we have established a new phone system. A general number (651-201-5324) is now used by MNELAP which rings to all MNELAP staff phone numbers. If an assessor is available, the call will be answered. If no assessor is available, the system allows the caller to leave a message with Kim Sandrock’s voice mail.

The direct phones for each of the MNELAP staff are also functional and may continue to be used if the caller needs to contact a specific person on the staff.

Aug 2013

News

Applications Now Being Accepted for 3rd Party Individual Assessors and Assessment Organizations

MNELAP is now accepting applications from assessment organizations and individual assessors interested in performing assessments for compliance with our state laws and rules, including the 2003 NELAC Standard and the 2009 TNI Standard. 

The recent Minnesota legislative session amended the Minnesota Statutes 144.98 governing the accreditation of environmental laboratories. The amendments established a selection committee to determine qualifications of independent assessors and assessment organizations and review the applications from interested parties. The selection committee completed its preparation of the application materials.  There are two application forms: 

Assessment Organization Application and Instructions (PDF: 121 KB/9 pages)

Assessor Organization Application Form (PDF: 116 KB/8 pages)

Approved assessors and assessment organizations will have to read and sign the MDH Data Practices and Data Security Checklist for Contractors.

MDH Data Practices and Security Checklist for Contractors (PDF: 125 KB/7 pages)

Applications are due by 2:30 p.m. (Central) on August 23, 2013.

The Minnesota Statutes amendments include provisions for approval of employees of state or federal agencies with established agreements for mutual assistance or recognition with MDH. Therefore, state and federal employees should not use this application process.

After review of the applications, the selection committee will report their recommendations to the MNELAP. MNELAP will post a list of qualified assessors and organizations on its web page and send notifications to applicants. Approvals for assessors and organizations may extend from the date of notification/posting through December 31, 2014. Please note that meeting the qualifications and requirements does not guarantee acceptance as an assessor.

Please feel free to distribute this notification and the attached forms to others who may be interested. This announcement and the application forms are also posted on the MNELAP website at:

MNELAP Assessor Information

July 2013

News

July 17th Mankato Regional Meeting Was Cancelled

The Mankato Regional meeting to discuss the recent statute changes to the MNELAP program was cancelled and will be rescheduled as soon as possible. The meeting was scheduled for July 17th from 10:00 to 12:30.

As soon as MNELAP staff finalizes the date for the Mankato regional meeting, the schedule will be sent via e-mail to the primary contact person at each accredited laboratory.

Regional MNELAP Meeting Dates

The regional meetings dates and locations have been finalized, and the meeting specifics have been emailed to the primary contact person at each accredited laboratory. The meetings will be hosted to provide information on the recent legislative changes impacting accredited laboratories, and provide networking opportunities for members of the accredited laboratory community to help facilitate the coordination of future onsite assessments.  The meetings will be held throughout the month of July in the following locations: Duluth, Fergus Falls, Mankato and St. Paul. Please contact us if you need any additional information or have question and concerns.

Tips for Compliance - Laboratory Handbook

The Laboratory Handbook has been updated to include information on analytical records, the use of the accreditation logo, and the traceability of measurements. The laboratory handbook was originally created to provide guidance for environmental laboratories seeking to obtain or maintain accreditation with the Minnesota Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Program. The document was recently updated to incorporate terminology and requirements from the 2009 TNI Standard.

Tips for Compliance - Laboratory Handbook (PDF: 75KB/13 pages)

June 2013

News

Use of Independent Assessors and Assessment Organizations in Environmental Laboratory Assessments

The recent Minnesota legislative session amended the Statute governing the accreditation of environmental laboratories. The amendments to Minnesota Statutes 144.98 establish a selection committee to review applications and determine qualifications of independent assessors and assessment organizations. The selection committee will report their recommendations to the MNELAP. MNELAP will post a list of qualified assessors and organizations on its web page

To defer the cost paid by laboratories to these assessors and organizations, the statute changes include a reduction in the base fee and test category fees payable to the Department. The Office of the Revisor of Statutes will publish the exact language of the amendments soon.

If laboratories choose to do so, they may coordinate the dates of their onsite assessments to reduce the overall cost (i.e. reduce travel costs incurred by the selected assessor). MNELAP will host regional meetings to assist accredited laboratories in complying with the new law and in coordinating assessments. MNELAP will post on its web page the date of the last onsite assessment for each accredited laboratory. As soon as MNELAP staff finalize the dates and locations for regional meetings, the schedule will be sent via e-mail to the primary contact person at each accredited laboratory.

The Office of the Revisor of Statutes

February 2013

News

Correspondence to MN-ELAP

Reminder, please do not include personal information (e.g. personal or family health information, family emergencies, etc.) in your correspondence to MN-ELAP. Due to the data practices act, all personal information must be redacted from laboratory correspondence before being saved. Not including personal information will save MNELAP time as well as ensuring your personal information does not accidently become public.

TNI Forum on Laboratory Accreditation

Representatives from MN-ELAP attended The NELAC Institute’s Forum on Laboratory Accreditation held in Denver, Colorado from January 14 -17, 2013. The event included an open meeting with standards development and administrative committees of the TNI organization as well as special sessions on implementation of the U.S. EPA’s Methods Update Rule, a review of TNI’s standards interpretation request process, several vendor presentations, and a training course discussing environmental laboratory accreditation and policies. The next meeting will be held in San Antonio, Texas from August 5-9, 2013. Meeting highlights and presentations are posted on the organization’s web page

TNI Semiannual Meeting: Forum on Laboratory Accreditation

MNELAP Website Updates

Feedback and Improvement Survey

MNELAP is committed to continuously improving the quality of the program. In 2012, we implemented an online survey to collect feedback, improvement ideas, and training needs. Please participate in this survey and help improve the services MNELAP provides. The information that is collected through the survey will be used for improvement purposes only and will not be shared or distributed. The online survey is located on the MNELAP website on the left side of the home page under the 'Laboratories' heading.

Feedback and Improvement Survey

Archives

News Archive 2012


Updated Monday, September 08, 2014 at 11:31AM