The NELAC Institute (TNI) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization whose mission is to foster the generation of environmental data of known and documented quality through an open, inclusive, and transparent process that is responsive to the needs of the community. The organization is managed by a Board of Directors and is governed by organizational Bylaws.
TNI's vision is a true national accreditation program, whereby all entities involved in the generation of environmental measurement data within the United States are accredited to one uniform, rigorous, and robust program that has been implemented consistently nationwide and focuses on the technical competence of the entity pursuing accreditation. TNI believes such a program will improve the quality and reliability of environmental data used by federal and state agencies.
To support this mission, TNI operates the following programs:
- Administration and Support
- Consensus Standards Development Program (CSDP)
- National Environmental Field Activities Program (NEFAP)
- National Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Program (NELAP)
- National Environmental Proficiency Testing Program (NEPTP)
- Stationary Source Audit Sample Program (SSASP)
Membership in TNI is open to any individual interested in laboratory accreditation in the private, public or academic sectors. The NELAC Institute has both individual members and organizational members. However, only individual members may vote. Membership fees for individuals are $50; organizations pay a sliding scale based on the level of commitment of the organization. Membership is open to all individuals or organizations interested in environmental laboratory accreditation. All members in TNI have the opportunity to fully participate in all activities of the organization and are able to vote on the laboratory accreditation standards.
TNI membership includes over 600 scientists from throughout the environmental monitoring community, including both government and private sector participants. These individuals work in many environmental disciplines that include both sampling organizations (laboratories, consulting and engineering firms, local, state and federal contractors) and environmental laboratories (large and small commercial laboratories and local, state and federal government laboratories). The membership represents municipalities and local government entities, state agencies, and federal agencies, including the Centers for Disease Control, the Department of Defense, the US Geological Survey and the US Environmental Protection Agency.
Most of the work of TNI is done by volunteers working on committees tasked with specific functions. If you are interested in actively helping our organization, complete a TNI Committee Application (opens in a separate window). Participation on TNI committees is described in Operations of TNI Committees.
The NELAC Institute was created on November 6, 2006 when a giant step towards achieving a long-term goal of the environmental laboratory and monitoring communities to have a national accreditation program was realized. After years of an evolving program under the auspices of the National Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Conference (NELAC) and the Institute for National Environmental Laboratory Accreditation (INELA), the respective Board of Director’s took actions to form TNI.
The actions taken on November 6th to form TNI were the result of years of hard work to create a national program through NELAC, years of hard work by INELA to create a consensus process for the development of accreditation standards, and months of intense exploration by a Partnership Planning Team (PPT) representing both entities that culminated in this new organization. As reflected in the new name, The NELAC Institute (TNI) has combined the heritage of NELAC with the consensus process of INELA into one organization. Recommendations for Combining INELA and NELAC Operations, a report prepared by the PPT contains the recommendations made to form TNI, the Bylaws of TNI, a description of the committees and programs within TNI, and much more.