What is the difference between A2LA, ANAB, L-A-B and ISO 17025?





As a provider of ISO 17025 accredited calibration services we often receive terms and conditions that require a conversation with our clients. A common conversation is the term: "calibrate to A2LA". In discussions with clients that make this request it becomes clear what they really want is ISO 17025 accredited calibration.

What is the difference between A2LA, ANAB, L-A-B and ISO 17025?


A2LA is an acronym for American Association for Laboratory Accreditation. It was started in 1978 and operates as a 501(c)3 non profit organization. Source:https://www.a2la.org/about

They have accreditation arrangements with:

International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC) Mutual Recognition Arrangement (MRA)

International Accreditation Forum (IAF) Multilateral Recognition Arrangement (MLA)

Asia Pacific Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (APLAC) Mutual Recognition Arrangement (MLA)

Inter-American Accreditation Cooperation (IAAC) Multilateral Recognition Arrangement (MLA)

A2LA is NOT a standard. They are a 3rd party accreditation body.

They provide accreditation services for:

ISO/IEC 17025 for Testing/Calibration Laboratories     

ISO 15189 and CLIA for Clinical Testing Laboratories

ISO/IEC 17020 for Inspection Bodies                                                            

ISO/IEC 17043 for Proficiency Testing Providers

ISO/IEC 17065 for Product Certification Bodies                                        

ISO 17034 for Reference Material Producers


L-A-B stands for Laboratory Accreditation Bureau. They are a 3rd party accreditation body and recently merged with ANAB. Click here for the news release. 

ANAB is a signatory of the International Accreditation Forum(IAF) and International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC) multilateral recognition arrangements.ISO-17025-accredited-ANAB-alliance-calibration.png

ANAB is a non-governmental organization that provides accreditation services to public- and private-sector organizations and is jointly owned by the American National Standards Institute and the American Society for Quality. Source:http://www.anab.org/about-anab.

ANAB provides accreditation ISO/IEC 17025 testing, calibration, and forensics laboratories, ISO/IEC 17020 inspection bodies and forensic inspection agencies; ISO/IEC 17043 proficiency testing providers, ISO Guide 34 reference material producers, and industry-specific programs. ANAB also accredits ISO/IEC 17021 certification bodies for:

  • ISO 9001 quality management systems
  • ISO 14001 environmental management systems
  • ISO 13485 medical device quality management systems
  • ISO/IEC 20000-1 information technology service management systems
  • ISO 22000 food safety management systems
  • ISO/IEC 27001 information security management systems
  • ISO 28000 supply chain security management systems
  • ISO 50001 energy management systems
  • ISO 55001 asset management systems
  • ANSI/AIHA Z10, CSA Z1000, and BS OHSAS 18001 occupational health and safety management systems
  • Aerospace ICOP
  • SN 9001 quality management systems
  • TL 9000 quality management systems
  • Recycling Industry Operating Standard
  • e-Stewards Standard
  • Responsible Recycling
  • AS6081 for avoidance of counterfeits
  • ASIS SPC.1, ASIS/BSI BCM.01, BS 25999-2, and NFPA 1600 PS-Prep and preparedness
  • Sustainable Forestry Initiation
  • American Tree Farms System
  • BA 9001 body armor quality management systems
  • SQFI Ethical Sourcing
  • Private security company management systems
  • Gluten-free management systems

ANAB is NOT a standard. They are a 3rd party accreditation body.

ISO 17025 is the internationally recognized standard for calibration. If you want an accredited calibration you need to specify ISO 17025 not A2LA, L-A-B or ANAB.

The role of the international bodies mentioned above is to ensure that 3rd Party accreditation bodies provide unbiased and objective evaluations of calibration services. Yes, 3rd Party accreditation services are audited by international bodies for conformance.


NCSL International has an excellent resource explaining the benefits of accredited calibration.

Download  the  whitepaper How Using an Accredited Laboratory Benefits Government & Regulators


You may want to visit our International Standards Used in Calibration page for more details on standards.

Phil Wiseman

Phil Wiseman

Phil Wiseman is Chief Marketing Officer at Alliance Calibration. He earned a B.S. in Chemical Physics from Centre College. Phil is an ASQ Certified Quality Auditor and ASQ Certified Manager of Quality/Organizational Excellence.

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