The Programme d'accréditation des laboratoires d'analyse (PALA), created pursuant to the Environment Quality Act (R.S.Q., chap. Q‑2), is administered by the Centre d'expertise en analyse environnementale du Québec (CEAEQ), which accredits private, municipal and institutional laboratories. Since June 9, 2009, this Program replaces the Programme d'accréditation des laboratoires d'analyse agricole (PALAA) and the Programme d'accréditation des laboratoires en analyse environnementale (PALAE). This one was developed in 1984 in order to ensure the quality of the analyses conducted by accredited laboratories when monitoring drinking water. Over the years that followed, additional intervention sectors were added to meet new needs: monitoring of groundwater, municipal and industrial wastewater, sludge from purification plants, pulp and paper mill sludge, contaminated soil, hazardous waste, waste oil and air emissions. The requirements of the ISO/IEC 17025 international standard were integrated into the PALAE in 2002.
Although the program has evolved, the objective remains the same : ensuring and maintaining a sufficiently high level of analytical quality so that clients who call upon these laboratories can use the analytical information provided in complete confidence.
The PALA is for all private, public and para-public laboratories working in the field of environmental and agricultural analysis in Québec. These laboratories can be of various types: commercial, industrial, municipal, governmental or institutional.
The PALA is interested in the analytical expertise pertaining to chemistry, microbiology and toxicology. In principle, it applies to all analytical parameters targeted by environmental management. The accreditation fields and domains are listed in document DR-12-CDA, titled Champs et domaines d'accréditation en vigueur. The opportunities for expanding the application sectors depend on elements of feasibility, market, cost and pertinence.
Additional information (french)