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"Laboratories" division

At Cofrac, our Laboratories division accredits test and calibration laboratories, proficiency testing providers and producers of reference material. We are involved in all types of activity sectors, including agri-food professionals, chemicals, and the building industry. We are also active in the framework of GEP (Good Experimental Practices) approval and the application of GLP (Good Laboratory Practices) principles.

Each product that we consume or use is subject to inspections to ensure its conformity with the standards and regulations in force, along with the requirements of ministerial authorities or customers. From the quality of the water that we drink or the air that we breathe, to our children's toys or our mobile devices: all are checked by laboratories to ensure they present no danger to our health.

In our division, in 2018:

1901 entities were accredited

  • 444 in the "Building-Electricity" division
  • 499 in the "Biology-Agrifood" division
  • 544 in the "Physics-Mechanics" division
  • 414 in the "Chemicals-Environment" division

1369 assessments carried out

53 employees

What types of bodies can be accredited by the Laboratories division ?

Test, analysis and calibration laboratories

Cofrac guarantees their technical competence and impartiality for specific inspection operations to measure a characteristic or assess a given criterion, based on accreditation standard ISO/IEC 17025.

  • With regard to tests, accreditation may concern laboratories carrying out analysis of chemical agents in the water or the air; determining nutritional profiles and searching for contaminants in foodstuffs; carrying out in-situ electromagnetic field measurements, mechanical tests on metallic materials, etc.
  • With regard to calibration, accreditation recognises a laboratory's competence to carry out calibrations or metrological checks in a defined field and with specified uncertainties. The presence of the COFRAC Etalonnage (Calibration) Mark on the calibration certificate guarantees the traceability of the measurements to the International System of Units (SI).

Areas covered

Proficiency testing providers

In France, laboratories are required to guarantee the quality of their results and demonstrate their competence in their fields of activity. To do so, they may organise, on a voluntary basis, a comparison of their results with other laboratories. How these comparisons are organised must comply with accreditation standard ISO/IEC 17043.

In France, laboratories are required to guarantee the quality of their results and demonstrate their competence in their fields of activity. To do so, they may organise, on a voluntary basis, a comparison of their results with other laboratories. How these comparisons are organised must comply with accreditation standard ISO/IEC 17043.

Areas covered
Find bodies accredited by the Laboratories division.

Case of GEP and GLP

Good Experimental Practices (GEP)

The Laboratories division is responsible for reviewing requests for assessment of conformity with the GEP principles and the monitoring of bodies that have obtained approval, extension to this approval, and new sectors of activity and/or new units of experimentation, or approval renewal. For this, Cofrac organises assessment visits and guarantees the qualification and follow-up of the technical experts and audit team managers conducting them.

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Good Laboratory Practices (GLP)

The Laboratories division provides logistical support for the GIPC (Groupe interministériel des produits chimiques - Interministerial Chemical Products Group) in inspecting the application of GLP principles by any test facility recognised as compliant with GLP principles or applying for this recognition.

As such, the division is tasked with reviewing applications and monitoring the application of any test facility declaring that it applies good laboratory practices for studies concerning pesticides, additives for human and animal foodstuffs, and industrial chemical products.  It organises at precise intervals the inspections for monitoring conformity with the GLP principles of the test facilities included in the inspection program, and handles the recruitment and training of the GLP inspectors and technical experts who carry out these inspections.

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