For ingredient suppliers, contract manufacturers and brand owners, partnership with a testing lab is often a necessary component. Even with an in-house lab, a company may not be able to perform every test required for their products due to the extensive nature of various testing practices and methods. When complicated, cost prohibitive, or specialty methods are required, partnership with an experienced testing lab, makes perfect sense—enter specialty 3rd party testing labs like SORA Labs.
The FDA Code of Federal Regulations requires that a vendor be qualified, and just like any other vendor, labs should be questioned about the expertise of methods they run. Reviewing proficiency testing; requesting staff qualification and reviewing standard operating procedures (SOP), can provide valuable insight when evaluating a lab. Ultimately, an on-site audit is the best strategy when making a final determination of a lab’s worthiness. Another qualifier when choosing a lab is the ISO 17025:2005 accreditation from the International Organization of Standardization. This signifies that the lab has met stringent criteria and passed audits to be considered a high quality international testing lab.
A lab partnership should also include a Quality Agreement (QA), which defines responsibilities, methods, out-of-specification communication and more. As regulations are increasing, the industry continues to see more findings regarding quality control procedures. An in-place agreement will ensure the quality process has been defined for outsourced testing, and both companies understand each other’s roles and expectations. If a Quality Agreement has not yet been established, you can find our QA form here (Quality Agreement Form Request). Since ISO already requires the highest level of confidentiality, a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) is less important than the Quality Agreement; however some companies choose to have both agreements in place.
Although you may not need outside testing services on a daily basis, it’s a smart idea to have a qualified and experienced lab in your corner when the need arises. Sometimes, it can take a team to get your project completed and partnering with a high-quality testing lab like SORA Labs, is a great place to start. Let us help you today!