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Environmental Health Division
Accreditation Requirements for Laboratories in Minnesota
On this page:
Step One: Is accreditation required?
Step Two: What are the requirements for accredited laboratories?
Step Three: What fields of testing are available on the application?
Step Four: Who can serve as a Technical Director?
Step Five: Estimate fees and send payment.
Step Six: Review the ELDO User Guide.
Step Seven: Request User Access to ELDO.
Step Eight: Submit required information
Step one: Is accreditation required?
Laboratories reporting data for environmental testing in Minnesota may be required to obtain accreditation through the Minnesota Department of Health. To determine if your laboratory must be accredited for work performed, you should contact the state agency receiving the test results from you (or indirectly through your client).
Step two: What are the requirements for accredited laboratories?
Minnesota laws (Minn. Statutes, 144.97 to 144.99) and regulations (Minn. Rules, Chapter 4740) set the minimum requirements for accreditation and accredited laboratories.
- MN Statutes 144.97 Definitions
- 144.98 Authorization, Rules and Fees
- 144.99 Health Enforcement Consolidation Act
- Minnesota Revisor: Minnesota Rules Chapter 4740 Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Requirements (PDF)
In addition to accreditation requirements, laboratories must ensure conformance with client requirements (Primarily, state and federal agencies using the data.) MNELAP maintains a summary of known state-specific requirements, by testing category.
MNELAP also maintains links to known federal requirements for federal programs.
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Step three: What fields of testing are available on the application?
MNELAP accredits laboratories for groups of tests under various state and federal programs. The primary resources for deciding what to offer for accreditation are the state agencies and federal agencies requiring accreditation. If a laboratory requests MNELAP offer a particular test, the laboratory’s request will be reviewed to determine its impact on the program’s available resources.
MNELAP reviews the list at least twice each year. MNELAP publishes a list of available analytes in the State Register when changes occur. The analyte and fields of testing lists and a complete list of available methods are published on the program’s webpage. Laboratories may request accreditation using the pre-associated fields of testing or they may choose to create custom requests using any combination of methods/analytes from the available lists. Laboratories create the custom requests through the ‘variance’ tab in the application. Variance requests must be supported by documentation from the client or data user (e.g. permit requirement, contract, or QAPP).
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Step four: Who can serve as a Technical Director?
MNELAP requires accredited laboratories to designate at least one person meeting the requirements for technical director (however named). A worksheet is available to assist you in selecting the individual or individuals meeting this requirement. You may keep a copy of the worksheet in the personnel or training files. The assessor will review the information during your laboratory’s onsite assessment.
Step five: Fees and payments
Fees differ from state-to-state. The Minnesota legislature sets the fees for the accreditation program (listed in Minn. Statutes 144.98). The fees are non-refundable and cannot be adjusted or waived by program staff or by the Department. Please see the fee estimator below for details on costs associated with available programs. Fees for initial applicants are prorated based on the month in which the application is received. Laboratories renewing accreditation will already have laboratory information in the ELDO system and will have active users. The payment may be paid online electronically (see process below) or sent to the remit to information on the invoice given at the time the laboratory applies.
Step six: Review the ELDO User Guide
MNELAP uses its Environmental Laboratory Data –Online (ELDO) system to do more than just track certifications. The system is comprehensive, enterprise software designed to help regulatory personnel and laboratories track all accreditation information. The system will capture and report current accreditation, accreditation history, assessment information, proficiency testing data, and laboratory documents. The system is designed to help solve the challenges of data entry and document management facing laboratories and accreditation bodies. A user guide is supplied to assist laboratories navigate the system and avoid errors in the application process. After reading the user guide, laboratories that require extra assistance may contact MNELAP. Contact information is provided on the cover page of the guide.
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Step seven: Request user access to ELDO
After reading the user guide, go to the ELDO log-in screen and register as a new user on the system. You will need basic contact information for yourself and your laboratory. You will also need to know the USEPA Lab ID for your laboratory. MNELAP will manually review and authenticate the request. You will receive a notice when your request has been approved. Please allow at least two business days before you contact MNELAP concerning the submitted registration information.
Step eight: Submit required information
When your access has been approved, you will be able to create, view, store, and report data collected from certificate applications, assessments, proficiency testing studies, and documentation for your laboratory.
Submitted documents are accepted into the system within five business days. Applications are processed in the order received and within 60 days of the date received complete by MNELAP. MNELAP will not begin technical review of your application until payment of fees and all required information and documentation is received.
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