Environmental Laboratory Assessments

Welcome to the Environmental Laboratory Assessments webpage. This page provides information for laboratories applying for accreditation by the Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Program (ELAP).

Assessment Requirement

An assessment is required for all initial (new laboratory) applications, renewal applications, and for specific types of amendment applications. The assessment must be performed and completed before applying.

Assessment Timing

  • For new applications – must be performed no earlier than 12 months before applying for accreditation
  • For renewal applications – must be performed within the two years before the expiration of date of the accreditation
  • For amendment applications – see below for more information

Assessment Components

The laboratory’s assessment will include an evaluation of the analytical methods in the application, laboratory instrumentation and equipment requirements, compliance with applicable California laws and regulations, and the laboratory’s quality system. The laboratory can choose from two quality system options*:

  1. 2016 TNI standard, Revision 2.1, Volume 1, Modules 2, and 3-7 where appropriate based on laboratory operations, with two exceptions as listed in California Code of Regulations 64802.05 (a)(1). These exceptions include changes to the proficiency testing and technical manager requirements.
  2. 2016 TNI Standard, Revision 2.1, Volume 1, all modules.

*Note that laboratories may instead select to be assessed to the requirements listed in the California Code Regulations, Section 64802.05 (b) until December 31, 2023. After January 1, 2024, all assessments must be performed to one of the two options above. If your laboratory needs assistance with its quality system, visit the Roadmap to ELAP Accreditation webpage.

  Assessments by Third-Party Assessment (TPA) Agencies

Any laboratory can have an assessment performed by an approved third-party provider from the list provided below. Laboratories requesting assessment of “sophisticated technologies” as defined in Section 68401.00 of the California Code of Regulations must have their assessments performed by a third-party provider. Laboratories will pay the provider its market rate for services provided.

  List of Approved Third-Party Assessment Agencies

New to having your laboratory’s assessment performed by a TPA? Visit the Roadmap to ELAP Accreditation webpage where you can view an overview webinar, read FAQs, and view a map of the process. The Memorandum of Understanding agreement that defines the service terms TPAs must follow is also a useful document to familiarize yourself with.

  Assessments by ELAP

Laboratories without sophisticated technologies may choose to have their assessment performed by ELAP staff. The cost of ELAP assessments are listed below. Laboratories will receive an invoice for the service(s) when the assessment is scheduled. Please do not pay for an assessment ahead of time or combine your assessment fee with your accreditation fee.

Assessment Pricing
Assessment Type - 2016 TNI Standard-2 Assessments available Fee
Assessment of Main Laboratory $5,000
Assessment of Satellite/Mobile Laboratory $2,500 each
Assessment for Change of Laboratory Location $5,000
Assessment for Adding Field(s) of Accreditation to a Renewal Assessment (Includes Assessment of Main Laboratory) $6,000
Assessment for Adding Field(s) of Accreditation as Standalone Items $5,000
Request an Assessment by ELAP

To request an assessment by ELAP, follow the instructions below:

  1. Determine which type of assessment(s) your laboratory needs.
    • Initial Assessment – for new laboratories not currently accredited by ELAP
    • Renewal Assessment – for laboratories currently accredited who are not requesting any changes to the current Fields of Accreditation
    • Amendment Assessment – for any laboratory request to add or reinstate Fields of Accreditation, changing location, or adding a satellite or mobile laboratory to a current accreditation
  2. Determine when you are going to schedule the assessment.
    • Initial Assessment – can be scheduled at any time
    • Renewal Assessment – can schedule beginning on your annual fee due date (one year after the start date on your certificate)
    • Amendment Assessment – can schedule anytime
  3. Fill out the ELAP Assessment Request Form
  4. Fill out the Fields of Accreditation tables for the subgroups you want assessed.
  5. Submit the ELAP Assessment Request Form and Fields of Accreditation forms to elapca@waterboards.ca.gov with the subject line: “[TYPE of ASSESSMENT] Assessment Request – LAB NAME, Certificate #xxxx”. For example: “Renewal Assessment Request – ABC Laboratory, Certificate #1234”. For initial assessment requests, the certificate number is not required.
Assessments for Amendment Applications

A completed assessment is required with an amendment application when requesting new Fields of Accreditation be added to a laboratory’s accreditation, location change, or the addition of a satellite or mobile laboratory to an existing accreditation. The assessment requirement for an amendment application may be waived by ELAP if the laboratory shows that the amendment would not affect the quality of data (CCR 64808.15i). This waiver may be considered in situations such as adding an additional compound for a method the laboratory is already accredited for or reinstating a Field of Accreditation that was denied or revoked for a non-technical reason, such as an administrative error. Contact ELAP at elapca@waterboards.ca.gov if you believe your amendment application may qualify for an amendment assessment waiver.