About the Association
AOAC INTERNATIONAL, founded in 1884, is a 501(c)(3) not for profit association. AOAC has evolved into an independent, third-party, nongovernment association of international industry organizations, government agencies, research institutions, and individual scientists, who network, engage, and deliberate on methods and quality measurements. AOAC provides opportunities for its members and scientists throughout the world to network, engage, and deliberate, thereby allowing AOAC to be in the forefront for developing international voluntary consensus standards for government and industry.
AOAC is a leader in delivering international voluntary consensus standards, Official Methods of Analysis (OMA), Performance Tested MethodSM (PTM) certification, laboratory proficiency testing programs, laboratory accreditation criteria, and scientific information and opportunities for global industry, government and regulatory agencies, and academic and research institutions.
AOAC STANDARDS DEVELOPMENT
AOAC INTERNATIONAL develops voluntary consensus standards in accordance with the U.S. National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act of 1995 (PL104-113) and U.S. Office of Management and Budget Circular A-119. Standards activities are fully transparent and open. The Official Methods Board accounts for balance and lack of dominance. Consensus is documented and processes are in place to ensure due process and the opportunity to present appeals. Resulting AOAC standards are published in a section of the Official Methods of Analysis of AOAC INTERNATIONAL and accompanying manuscripts with the standards are published in the Journal of AOAC INTERNATIONAL.
AOAC METHODS PROGRAMS
AOAC methods are used globally to promote trade and to facilitate public health and public safety. AOAC has two programs by which methods are evaluated and approved. These programs are the AOAC OMA and PTM programs.
The OMA program is internationally known for its rigorous scientific and systematic scrutiny of methods and, because of the level of scrutiny, a high level of confidence, credibility, and defensibility is ascribed to resulting Official Methods of Analysis. The PTM program has evolved into a premier method certification program for commercial and proprietary alternative methods. Methods certified as Performance TestedSM were found to perform according to the manufacturer's documented claims and are used throughout the global market place and within the regulatory arena. The PTM program offers certification as an endpoint for method evaluation or as an entry to method validation for programs requiring increased confidence and method reproducibility information.
The methods published in the Official Methods of Analysis of AOAC INTERNATIONAL and the methods certified as Performance TestedSM are published with their manuscripts in the Journal of AOAC INTERNATIONAL. For more information about AOAC methods programs, visit the AOAC website at www.aoac.org.
AOAC RESEARCH INSTITUTE
The AOAC Research Institute (RI) was incorporated in 1991 as a wholly owned subsidiary of AOAC INTERNATIONAL. The RI serves as an independent, third-party, nongovernment administrator of both the AOAC PTM and OMA programs for alternative and sole source methods. Other complementary products and services include validation protocol development and RI Contributing Membership. Additionally, the RI supports AOAC standards development activities for alternative methods.
THE AOAC® LABORATORY PROFI CIENCY TESTING PROGRAM
The accredited AOAC® Laboratory Proficiency Testing Program provides an independent assessment of the accuracy and reliability of analytical results in the analysis of a wide range of analytes and matrixes. Program modules include Standard Microbiology, Pathogen-Free Microbiology, Meat Microbiology, Nutritional Labeling, Pesticide Residues in Fruits and Vegetables, and Salmonella in Liquid Egg Products.
The AOAC Laboratory Proficiency Testing Program has served as a tool for monitoring the competency of an accredited laboratory to perform specific tests. In addition to establishing technical competence for a laboratory, results from the proficiency testing program offer a new possible alternative approach for collecting reproducibility data to support an expert review panel (ERP) recommendation to advance a method from First Action to Final Action status.
The goals of the AOAC technical divisions are to improve the overall quality of laboratory operations and foster harmonization of laboratory procedures and systems. The Technical Division for Laboratory Management (TDLM) helps laboratory managers improve the operations of their laboratories through the exchange of ideas and through professional development activities. The Technical Division on Reference Materials (TDRM) improves the quality of analytical measurements through the use of reference materials.
Analytical Laboratory Accreditation Criteria Committee (ALACC)
ALACC is part of TDLM. ALACC created the Chemistry and Microbiology subcommittees in 1998. The Pharmaceutical Subcommittee was added in 1999.
Membership in TDLM is required for membership on the ALACC subcommittees.
ALACC criteria were developed by the subcommittees of ALACC and approved by the AOAC Board of Directors. The "AOAC INTERNATIONAL Guidelines for Laboratories Performing Microbiological and Chemical Analyses of Food and Pharmaceuticals, An Aid to Interpretation of ISO/IEC 17025:2005" provides detailed criteria to aid in assessing the essential requirements for performing these types of analyses. The document closely follows ISO/IEC 17025 and provides a section-by-section interpretation of the general ISO/IEC 17025 requirements. The ALACC guide is available at www.aoac.org.
AOAC INTERNATIONAL historically has established joint committees, liaisons, and representation with numerous scientific organizations worldwide. The Association is an organizational member of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), the U.S. signatory to the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and has participated in the Inter Agency Meeting, an offshoot of the Codex Committee on Methods of Analysis and Sampling, which recommends methods for inclusion in the Codex food standards. In 2012, the Association entered into an agreement with ISO for the joint development and approval of common standards. The Association also participates in the meetings of many other international groups, both private and government sponsored. Additionally, AOAC hosts specific standards development activities internationally. Such arrangements enable AOAC INTERNATIONAL to express its basic policies on the development of international voluntary consensus standards and internationally acceptable methods of analysis.
MEETINGS AND EXPOSITIONS
As an association, AOAC INTERNATIONAL provides a number of professional opportunities to network and discuss methods and quality measurements.
AOAC INTERNATIONAL Annual Meeting and Exposition
The AOAC INTERNATIONAL Annual Meeting and Exposition is recognized worldwide as the most significant meeting for quality assurance and laboratory management professionals dealing with regulated commodities. The annual scientific program includes cutting-edge information from the world's most respected scientists and laboratories. Through the scientific symposia, poster sessions, workshops, forums, and short courses, meeting attendees enhance their analytical expertise, share their research, and strengthen contacts with their colleagues from around the world. The Exposition held at the Annual Meeting features displays of the state of the art in laboratory products and services.
AOAC INTERNATIONAL Mid-Year Meeting
Initiated in 2009 and with a focused scope, AOAC hosts the AOAC INTERNATIONAL Mid-Year Meeting in support of its standards development activities and resulting methods approval processes. AOAC stakeholder panels and working groups meet to deliberate on voluntary consensus standards. AOAC expert review panels also meet to deliberate on candidate and First Action Official MethodsSM. The products of the Mid-Year meetings are AOAC voluntary consensus standards and state-of-the-art, fit-for-purpose Official Methods of AnalysisSM.
AOAC INTERNATIONAL Standards Development Meetings
AOAC INTERNATIONAL hosts advisory panel meetings, stakeholder panel meetings, and working group meetings, if necessary, in response to urgent or priority issues and to facilitate ongoing stakeholder activities. Such meetings can take place in person at AOAC INTERNATIONAL headquarters, in the Washington, DC, USA, metropolitan area, and across the globe. The details are dependent upon the scope of work to be accomplished. For more information on how to participate or engage AOAC, contact an AOAC executive for scientific business development.
All of these meetings are open and the activities transparent for members'and stakeholders' participation. Upcoming meetings are announced in AOAC's bimonthly membership magazine, Inside Laboratory Management, the AOAC online member newsletter, The Spectrum, and the AOAC website at www.aoac.org. AOAC is also on Facebook and LinkedIn, and upcoming AOAC meetings are often announced in these venues.
AOAC INTERNATIONAL encompasses Sections worldwide, representing four continents and over 90 countries outside of the United States. AOAC has established active Sections in Canada, Europe, Central and South America, China, Japan, Taiwan, Thailand, and India. Sections provide opportunities for participants to share information, establish networks, expand leadership skills, and gain practical management experience. Each AOAC Section is managed by a group of volunteer members, who facilitate a variety of Section events throughout the year, featuring technical presentations and discussions by leading local and national experts.
In addition to the Official Methods of Analy sis of AOAC INTERNATIONAL, the Association publishes the Journal of AOAC INTERNATIONAL and Inside Laboratory Management. AOAC's Journal contains original fully refereed research articles and reports on Official MethodsSM studies, including information on inter- and intralaboratory performance, which enables the users of the AOAC® Official MethodsSM to make in formed choices about the appropriate use of a particular method. The scope of the Journal describes original, basic, and applied research and recent advancements in the analytical sciences related to foods (contaminants in foods, natural and industrial), fertilizers, drugs, agriculture, the environment, veterinary drug residues, microbiological methods (foods, environmental samples), terrorist agents, botanical identification, and dietary supplements. The Journal is a well-balanced publication, offering a wealth of titles relevant to the analytical community. The exposure of the Journal of AOAC INTERNATIONAL is worldwide.
Adding even more value to the Journal is the online product.
Inside Laboratory Management (ILM), AOAC's membership magazine, has a bimonthly circulation to over 3000 laboratory professionals who are key purchasers of laboratory products and services. ILM features news content specific to the work of AOAC and its analytical communities and contract-related efforts, such as agricultural materials, chemical contaminants and residues in foods, marine and freshwater foods, marine and freshwater toxins, dietary supplements, nutrients in infant formula and adult nutritional products, pesticide residues, disinfectants, food safety and security, biothreat detection, and veterinary drug residues. ILM also features articles on the approval of analytical methods and test kits.
Each year, the Association presents a number of volunteer awards in recognition of outstanding contributions to analytical methodology in areas of interest to AOAC INTERNA TIONAL, meritorious service to the Association, and outstanding work in the AOAC® Official MethodsSM Program. AOAC INTERNATIONAL also awards an annual scholarship to encourage study in fields represented within the Association.
GOVERNANCE AND MEMBERSHIP
AOAC INTERNATIONAL is governed by an elected volunteer Board of Directors in accordance with the Association bylaws. The AOAC INTERNATIONAL Board of Directors may delegate or grant authority to appointed individuals or groups with respect to the implementation of policies. The Board also appoints the Executive Director who directs and manages all operations, programs, activities, and affairs of the Association.
AOAC INTERNATIONAL consists of nearly 3000 individual members worldwide and has three levels of membership: Organizational Affiliate, Sustaining, and Individual. Contact AOAC INTERNATIONAL regarding membership or visit the AOAC website at www.aoac.org.
For further information about AOAC INTERNATIONAL and its programs and activities, contact:
481 N. Frederick Ave, Suite 500
Gaithersburg, MD 20877-2417, USA
Tel: +1-800-379-2622 (Toll free from North America)
Web site: http://www.aoac.org