BASES Laboratory Accreditation is a quality assurance process that provides clients and service purchasers with a means of confirming the appropriateness of a laboratory to conduct physiological testing. The accreditation process uses a written submission from the laboratory together with a detailed inspection visit to assess the appropriateness of the laboratory’s facilities, equipment, procedures and staffing.
Lab visits are now open for Accreditation and Re-accreditation.
To become a BASES Accredited Laboratory, the following criteria must be met:
- the laboratory must be under the Directorship of a BASES Accredited Sport and Exercise Scientist
- the facilities must meet the standards established for laboratory accreditation
- equipment and techniques must be used with due regard for calibration, validity and reliability
- exercise testing and other measurements must be conducted in accordance with appropriate protocols and adhere to safety considerations
- data must be accurately interpreted
- feedback provided to clients must be informative and be communicated in such a way as to be useful to the client.
What are the benefits of BASES Laboratory Accreditation?
The BASES Laboratory Accreditation provides a mark of quality assurance to clients, research funders and the wider community that illustrates the laboratory has undergone meticulous inspection by BASES and that high professional standards of practice have been achieved. Laboratories that are accredited by BASES will have demonstrated:
- that instruments in their laboratory are well maintained in terms of reliability, validity and routine servicing
- that staff have the appropriate professional and vocational qualifications
- that the requisite operational documents governing operating procedures and health and safety are met
- operational competence in the delivery of physiological assessment, data interpretation and communication
- full consideration for client’s welfare, confidentiality and safety
- a suitably fit and safe environment for the high standards of practice expected of a BASES Accredited Sport and Exercise Scientist.
Overseas laboratories may apply for laboratory accreditation and this will be acknowledged as such with the title BASES Accredited Laboratory (Overseas). Where a BASES accredited individual is not present, the laboratory must be under the direction of an appropriately qualified individual (such as a laboratory manager, or equally well qualified practitioner). The named laboratory director must, as a minimum, be a BASES member for the full term of the laboratory accreditation.
In such circumstances the laboratory may still be granted accreditation but BASES Accredited Laboratory Director status cannot be granted. Overseas (including the Irish Republic) laboratories applying for accredited status must also agree to meet the costs for all international travel, reasonable subsistence and accommodation where necessary in addition to the standard accreditation fee.
How to apply for Lab Accreditation / Re-Accreditation
A pre-accreditation visit by a member of the Accreditation Committee is strongly recommended for laboratories seeking first time accreditation. A fee of £400 will be charged for this service.
Application fees for Laboratory Accreditation and Re-accreditation are £550 which covers a 5-year period (same paperwork is required for both).
Please send applications to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Application Forms and Guidelines:
- Lab accreditation application form
- Lab accreditation guidelines
- Lab Director application form
- Lab Accreditation Survey Form
- Example of supporting information
- BASES Resource Guide to ECG Testing
To view all our BASES Accredited Laboratories click here
Top tips for a successful BASES Laboratory Accreditation application:
- Read and digest the guidelines and see examples of supporting documentation (https://bases.org.uk/spage-organisations-laboratory_accreditation.html)
- Ask questions of other accredited laboratories and also of the Accreditations panel – it’s an open-door policy! It’s worth picking up some tip from others and good to have peers to plan and reflect with.
- If it’s your first time applying for lab accreditation, then arrange for a pre-accreditation visit. This is an incredibly useful aspect of the BASES lab accreditation process and you have a much greater chance of first-time success using this approach. If labs are about to enter a new build phase or are a new facility the pre accreditation visit offers some useful insights into laboratory management that aids a successful accreditation review.
- Consider timing. Lab accreditation is a relatively straightforward process, but it requires some thought. Try not to enter into an application process in a busy phase e.g. Olympic/Paralympic year/mid-season/exams
- Involve your staff. As lab director you hold responsibility for the lab accreditation, but the process is a good opportunity to galvanise your team, upskill staff and delegate some responsibilities
- Use the process to gather some useful quality assurance data and processes for future proofing e.g. biological calibrations (team building activity!)
- Use the process to reflect on your lab, e.g. its purpose, uses, challenges and success. It’s a good opportunity for development planning for your lab.
- Automate data where possible and have access secure. If data is previously hand recorded, store these records and build an automated procedure. Data capture is a huge part of the lab accreditation process. If data is limited due to you being a new facility don’t worry. The point is you have sufficient procedures in place to capture all relevant data and it is secure.
- Ensure all health and safety points are in place ahead of application e.g. first aid, risk assessment. If your lab is part of a bigger site, ensure you have informed all parties that you are going ahead with lab accreditation. You will need information of site owners in terms of health and safety procedures for example.
- If you have faulty equipment ahead of application try and get it fixed first. If equipment fails during the process don’t panic. Have all necessary records up to date and if needs be the visit can be rescheduled.
- On the day of the visit allow sufficient time for the report discussion with the reviewer and the lab test. 4 hours should suffice.
- Where possible ensure the lab is relatively quiet of other users during the lab visit
- Use the accreditation visit as an opportunity for others to learn e.g. junior practitioners
- Send all pre visit test data ahead of the visit (refer to guidelines for specifics (https://bases.org.uk/spage-organisations-laboratory_accreditation.html)
- Have a backup test subject in case of illness etc.
- If your lab has been accredited before, ensure you up update all relevant information, including staff changes ahead of reapplication
- Use the status of BASES lab accreditation to help market your facilities to potential students, the media and wider client base. Supporting information. Ensure all supporting information and data support the application. Providing reliability data and examples of Health and Safety documents help build confidence in the laboratory with the Accreditation Panel. An example of information is available on this webpage.
- Hear from Laboratory Directors about the benefits of becoming 'Lab Accredited' with BASES.
- TSES Issue 65 also featured an article about the benefits of 'Lab Accreditation', which can be read here.
For information on the Lab Accreditation Committee please click here.