What is a FLEXIBLE scope of accreditation ?
The different methods of analysis for which a laboratory is accredited are formalised in its scope of accreditation.
A scope is a document that describes the activities and associated methods offered under accreditation to laboratory clients.
The COFRAC (Comité Français d’Accréditation – French Accreditation Committee) gives laboratories the opportunity to enhance their competence by setting up flexible scopes.
Four staff types are defined: Fixed staff, Flexible staff FLEX 1, Flexible staff FLEX 2 and Flexible staff FLEX 3.
The FIXED Scope is a scope for laboratories that do not wish to change the versions of their methods between two Cofrac evaluations.
The Flexible Range FLEX 1 is a range intended for laboratories wishing to have the possibility, between two Cofrac evaluations, to adopt successive revisions of recognized methods.
The Flexible Range FLEX 2 is a range for laboratories wishing to have the possibility, between two Cofrac evaluations, to adopt new recognized methods.
The Flexible Range FLEX 3 is a range for laboratories wishing to be able to use new, unrecognized methods between Cofrac evaluations.
Our laboratory mainly works within the framework of flexible spans of type FLEX 3.
Our flexible FLEX 3 ranges include mycotoxins, pesticide residues, organic contaminant residues, metals and minerals, carbohydrate components, total lipids, dietary fibre, total nitrogen content, moisture and ash content, chloramphenicol, PCR GMO targets, allergenic proteins, sulphites and organic compounds in water.
You will find the details of these litters in our technical appendices for accreditation N°1-1904 and N°1-6066.
This type of flexibility allows FLEX 3 to develop its own analytical methods and accredit them without prior evaluation of COFRAC. To do this, the laboratory must validate the analytical method before issuing results under accreditation.
Thus, depending on your expectations, we are able to use this type of flexibility to initiate a validation procedure in order to accredit a new substance or foodstuff falling within the scope of our flexible scope.
This flexibility of use of our scope of accreditation relative to the flexibility of type 3, allows us to be most reactive to your needs of accreditation but also to the regulatory evolutions.
The flexibility of a scope therefore gives many advantages, but in return, the laboratory must meet obligations and take on heavy responsibilities.
FLEX 3 is the type of staff for which COFRAC’s requirements are the most numerous.
Through this accreditation process, our laboratory wishes to establish a real confidence in the different services we provide.
For more information on flexibility, we invite you to consult the attached COFRAC document: LAB REF 08 – Scope of Accreditation Expressions and Evaluation.