ACIL Enters A New Era - A Message From the Chair
A milestone year for ACIL, 2012 included a spectacular celebration of our75th anniversary at the October annual meeting in New York City, ACIL’s birthplace, and the completion of a 4-year management transition process. Returning to the Big Apple brought back bittersweet memories of ACIL’s 50th anniversary annual meeting and the wonderful formal banquet at Windows on the World at the top of the World Trade Center. Even spending just a few days in New York, one could both feel and see the city’s rebirth and renewal, as the new Freedom Towers rise up near the 9/11 Memorial.
In much the same way, those who attended the annual meeting witnessed the new ACIL in action, enjoying dynamic and helpful meeting sessions along with fun and memorable receptions, tours and group meals. By the end of the meeting, we were all in a New York state of mind, filled with new ideas and energy to take home to our laboratories. In addition to the numerous volunteer leaders who helped bring about ACIL’s remarkable transformation, we also applaud our professional management team, led by CEO Milton Bush and COO Richard Bright.
As we start 2013, ACIL’s future is full of promise and possibilities with much activity within each of our four sections, including the new proficiency testing program for EMC laboratories, a proposed technician certification program for CMET members, new collaboration with state agencies on accreditation of environmental laboratories and productive dialogue with FDA on food testing and safety regulations. We have also begun a new program of business practices webinars to provide you with additional value from your ACIL membership.
The Government Relations Committee stands ready to assist members who encounter unfair competition or unreasonable government restrictions and has a good record enhancing members’ success in the marketplace. Your Board of Directors has turned its attention to growth strategies to make ACIL an even stronger voice for our members, selecting Chair-elect Derek Coppinger to lead this effort and bring continuity to this critical priority over the next 4 years.
The P2 (Policies and Practices) Conference, scheduled for March 20-21 in Washington DC, offers a great opportunity to get involved with concerns and issues that are important to you. It is also a great way to meet and exchange ideas with your industry peers, which has always been ACIL’s greatest value to our company and to me personally. Our dues have been paid many times over by the comments, suggestions and referrals from members willing to share their knowledge and insights with other members. Please register and get the most from your dues investment; I hope to see you there!
ILI Names Board of Directors
The new Independent Laboratories Institute (ILI) Board of Directors Chair Jim Kuhn (Atlantic Testing) announced the appointment of Vice Chair Mike Violette (Washington Laboratories), Treasurer Steve Elliott (Materials Testing Consultants), and Directors Joe Konschnik (Restek), Mansour Samadpour (IEH Laboratories) and Christopher Shevlin (Waters).
Currently reviewing ILI’s mission and purpose as well as updating its bylaws, the Board seeks information on other non-profit foundations offering unique/best practice programs and services for ILI to emulate. If you know of or belong to any of these organizations, contact Richard Bright with this information.
EPA/ILI Partnership Reaping Rewards
ACIL’s Independent Laboratories Institute hosted a December 12, 2012 workshop on EPA monitoring issues, resulting in an EPA decision not to pursue proposed EPA Method 9016 which determines the necessity of Cyanide use. The workshop also addressed incorporating innovation in Solid Phase Extraction (SPE) techniques to develop a generic methodology to submit to EPA for general acceptance across EPA methods programs, resulting in development of a task force to draft and validate SPE protocols. A joint discussion of the helium shortage resulted in ACIL preparing a request for EPA to issue guidance to address the problem.
For more details on outcomes from this successful workshop further solidifying ACIL’s relationship with EPA, attend the P2 Conference’s Environmental Sciences Section meeting on March 20th at 1:00 p.m.
Committees and Sections
If you’d like to get involved in any of the sections, members may use the call-in information in the section report below to join the sections’ monthly teleconferences, which are also listed on the ACIL Website. Find complete meeting minutes on the ACIL Website in the Members Only Section.
Environmental Sciences Section (ESS)
The ESS continues to advance its Non-Governmental Accreditation initiative in New Jersey and Florida. The section has organized and reviewed results from the survey on the NELAP Program in California, and formed a working group to determine next steps and future use of the information.
The ESS sent a letter to the EPA Office of Water suggesting new language in changes to drinking water regulations to clarify the use of non-governmental assessments and the role that this community can serve. Discussions with the EPA have confirmed that the use of non-governmental assessors is appropriate for compliance with the auditing requirements of the laboratory certification program.
Towards the end of last year, ILI held two successful, well attended workshops regarding EPA method revisions and the SPE initiative. The workshops provided a great opportunity to collaborate with the EPA and gave ESS members a forum to discuss how current issues and potential changes affect the laboratory stakeholder community.
The ESS has a full agenda at the upcoming Policies and Practices meeting in March. Topics include SW-846 Update 6, Next MUR, Solid Phase Extraction Method Development, Service Contract Act and DOT Sample Bottle Transportation.
The ESS monthly teleconference meetings are held on the third Thursday of every month at 11:00 a.m. Eastern Time. The next meeting will be on February 21, 2013. To call in, dial 1-800-377-8846 and use meeting access code: 224 5368#. The March meeting will be held at the Policies and Practices Conference on March 20 at 1:00 p.m. Eastern Time at the Doubletree Hotel in Crystal City, VA.
Food Sciences Section (FSS)
The FDA just published several rules to implement the Food Safety Modernization Act, but full implementation remains in the distant future.
FSS Executive Committee members met via teleconference with the FDA in January to explain the inappropriateness of FDA re-inspection fees and address the issue of laboratory procedures. A letter has been prepared regarding FDA QC, and the FDA has been invited to the Policies and Practices meeting to discuss this matter further.
Other topics on the FSS agenda at the Policies and Practices meeting include an update on FSMA activities, a discussion of inner workings of the FDA, a report on the pesticide residue inter-laboratory study of 2012 and the next study this year, and the pesticides in foods rule.
The section continues to work alongside ACIL’s Government Relations Committee to address the issue of unfair competition by federal and state laboratories. ACIL has made a strong statement about how all levels of government have continued to compete with the private sector for many years.
The FSS meets on the third Wednesday of the month at 3:00 p.m. Eastern Time. The next FSS teleconference is on February 20, 2013. To call in, dial 1-800-377-8846 and use meeting access code: 224 5248#. The March meeting will be held at the Policies and Practices meeting at 1:00 p.m. Eastern Time at the Doubletree Hotel, Crystal City, VA.
Conformity Assessment Section (CAS)
The section is monitoring numerous agencies, such as CPSC, DOE, FCC and OSHA regarding third party product certification issues and accreditation, market access and trade issues--now a standard item on the monthly CAS meeting agendas.
Smart Grid Task Force: ACIL has become a founding member of the newly created Smart Grid Interoperability Panel (SGIP) 2.0, a private corporation replacing the original NIST-sponsored SGIP. ACIL is a voting member of the SGIP.
ACE-PT Program: The ACIL Corporation for EMC Proficiency Testing (ACE-PT) continues to grow with its 6 accredited programs, relying not only on ACIL member laboratory participation, but providing outreach to all EMC accredited laboratories to join the program. Round robins continue. For further information on the PT program and registration, go to the www.acil.org/ace-pt_inc or contact ACIL Executive Section Officer and ACE-PT Coordinator, Tony Anderson, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Topics included in the section’s program at the Policies and Practices meeting in March include NIST MRAs update, FCC EMC update, EPA Energy Star Program, OMB Circular A-119, changes in OSHA NRTL Program and China market access.
The CAS Section holds its monthly teleconference calls on the fourth Wednesday of the month at 11:00 a.m. Eastern Time. The next meeting is February 20, 2013 (moved from February 27). To call in, dial 1-800-377-8846 and use meeting access code: 224 5227#. The March meeting will be held at the ACIL Policies and Practices Conference on March 20 at 1:00 p.m. Eastern Time at the Doubletree Hotel, Crystal City, VA.
Construction Materials & Engineering Testing (CMET) Section
Former ACIL President Jerry Weathers joins the CMET Section as a technical advisor to further the national personnel certification program, which is based on the NETTCP certification program. This program will be discussed at the upcoming ACIL Policies and Practices (P2) meeting in March (see right column) with a representative from NETTCP. Other organizations at the P2 meeting include, FHWA, FAA, AASHTO and the Army Corps of Engineers.
Publication of the ACIL/NACLA 1825 revision awaits compilation of comments from the final draft. The CMET section meets by teleconference on the second Thursday of the month with the next meeting on Thursday, February14, 2013 at 2:00 p.m. Eastern Time. To call in, dial 1-800-377-8846 and use meeting access code: 224 5248#. The March meeting will be held at the Policies and Practices Conference on March 20 at 1:00 p.m. Eastern Time at the Doubletree Hotel in Crystal City, VA.
Here We Grow Again!
Welcome to this new member. To learn more, click on the company name to visit their website or on the contact name to send an e-mail
Environmental Sciences Corporate Member: Toxic Reports, Tom Hall; Watertown, MA 02472
A full scale analytical/research laboratory, Toxic Reports provides high quality analytical testing services to provide valuable results to the clinical, environmental, pharmaceutical, food and beverage, and cosmetic industries.
In This Issue
P2 Conference Filling Fast
Registration for our second annual ACIL Policies and Practices (P2) Conference has tripled last year’s pace, a tribute to the success of the 2012 meeting. This essential meeting combines government affairs and business practices educational sessions to ensure that your laboratory stays abreast of issues and information affecting your operations. Any member wishing to schedule visits with their members of Congress on Thursday afternoon, please contact ACIL CEO Milton Bush. Visits with regulatory agency personnel will be coordinated through the sections.
Don’t miss out on this fantastic opportunity to put your laboratory on the path to success in 2013! Conference details are:
March 20 -21, 2013
Arlington (Crystal City), VA
Cost: $395 (members), $795 (non-members)
Room Rate: $219/night
Save the Date!
ACIL 76th Annual Meeting
October 6 – 9, 2013
ACIL Provides International Opportunities to Members
A testament to the value of ACIL membership, Mike Violette (Washington Laboratories), ACIL’s resident Asia expert, shared an important business opportunity with other ACIL members in December via our listserve when he identified a sizeable and extremely reputable Hong Kong based laboratory, specializing in the food, product safety, electrical and textile sectors, looking to partner with a US food testing laboratory. A vital portal for many products produced in the region, Hong Kong’s government recently unveiled a policy making testing and certification a pillar of its strategic global growth initiatives. For more information, contact Mike Violette.
Business Practices Educational Series Launched
In our ever continuing quest to provide additional value for your membership dollar, ACIL began conducting webinars on relevant business practices topics at the end of 2012 with five more already planned for 2013. Plans call for ACIL past presidents to conduct additional webinars in their areas of expertise to increase member access to the “ACIL brain trust.” To view the current schedule of webinars, click here. Check your email for registration information as it becomes available.
Renewals On Track
As of the end of January, 56 percent of ACIL members have renewed for 2013. We appreciate your investment in ACIL and look forward to your participation in 2013 to continue to advance the industry. Also, remind your employees that they, too, have access to the members’ only section of the website. Contact Beth Horan for user names and passwords, or if you did not receive your renewal invoice. To renew online, click here.
Congratulations to Debra Hicks!
In January, the New Mexico governor appointed Debra Hicks (Pettigrew & Associates) to the New Mexico Institute of Mining & Technology Board of Regents. She has also been appointed to the New Mexico State University Presidential Search Committee. Congratulations from ACIL on garnering these two key state positions.
If you did not respond to January’s email, we need a minute of your time to gather information important to ACIL’s future. Click here to answer our 8-question survey on the benefits your laboratory has garnered directly due to ACIL membership as well as input on additional ways ACIL can assist you to improve your business. Thank you in advance for your participation.
Calling All Laboratories!
ACIL Seal of Excellence Program
It’s that time again—time for all laboratories to register for ACIL’s Seal of Excellence Program to meet the requirements for client feedback under ISO/IEC17025 Section 4.7.2. Started in 1996 for the Environmental Sciences Section, this program has been redesigned to apply to all disciplines with certificates of participation in the 2013-2014 program issued this October. If you need additional information on this program, click here, or contact Program Administrator Marlene Moore.
Long-Term Disability Risks Webinar
Tuesday, February 19, 1:00pm
Go to: join.me/ltcfpmarketing
Dial-in: (866) 885-0409
Enter Access Code: 463301
As another ACIL benefit, join ACIL Associate Member LTC Financial Partners, one of the country’s premier experts in long-term care planning, for this special webinar to learn:
* The true cost to employers/employees due to lost productivity
* Immediate solutions that leverage IRS tax benefits
* New tools for recruiting and retaining qualified employees
* What other ACIL members have done to prepare
To register for the webinar or to speak one-on-one with a long-term care specialist, please call (866) 471-4072 ext 2499. To learn how one ACIL member benefitted from its work with LTC, click here.
Thank You Sponsors!
Once again, a sincere thanks to the industry sponsors below, who provide particularly generous support to enable us to offer exceptional ACIL programs.
ACIL National Champion
ACIL Newsletter Staff