The Institute for the Advancement of Chinese Medicine (IACM) Ltd. of the School of Chinese Medicine (SCM) has been granted accreditation by the Hong Kong Accreditation Service to provide a testing service in accordance with the Hong Kong Chinese Materia Medica Standards (HKCMMS). IACM is the first laboratory under the Hong Kong Laboratory Accreditation Scheme to provide an HKCMMS-accredited testing service in Hong Kong. The scope of testing includes heavy metal and pesticide residue in Chinese materia medica, and chemical identification and assay of Ginseng Radix (Ginseng) and Panacis Quinquefolii Radix (American Ginseng). Testing reports issued by IACM will be recognised by 82 mutual recognition arrangement partners in 66 economies. Its recognised tests have been included in the “Directory of Accredited Laboratories” of the Hong Kong Accreditation Service. Since its participation in the research work of the HKCMMS in 2002, SCM has developed standards for 41 species of Chinese materia medica including Ginseng Radix and Panacis Quinquefolii Radix. It has also applied the research outcomes of the HKCMMS to an internationally recognised testing service, thereby enhancing the safety and quality of Chinese materia medica and promoting the testing of Chinese medicine locally and internationally. In addition, SCM has further strengthened its ability to conduct testing and certification work with the donation of HK$2 million from The Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust. With the support of the donation, in the coming two years IACM will offer discounts to companies to have their Chinese medicine products tested for safety and quality control. It will also launch a proficiency testing scheme to help other local Chinese medicine testing laboratories seek HKCMMS accreditation. Through participating in the scheme, which meets the international standard ISO/IEC 17043, laboratories will be able to enhance their testing methods and raise their technical standards. Dr. Yu Zhiling, Acting Director of the Research and Development Division, under which the IACM operates, said: “We have spent a lot of time and effort in the development of HKCMMS and successfully obtained international recognition. We will also transfer our expertise to benefit the community by assisting the local Chinese medicine industry and testing laboratories in testing and accreditation. This testifies to our excellence in CMM testing and contributes to the teaching and research of the School of Chinese Medicine.” Dr. Alexander Leung, Laboratory Manager of the Research and Development Division, said that IACM’s laboratory has been providing quality Chinese medicine testing services to the industry and the community since 2004 when it achieved ISO/IEC 17025 accreditation. Looking ahead, the laboratory will continue to enhance its services and develop new testing services, such as microscopic identification and proficiency testing schemes.
Dr. Yu Zhiling (left) and Dr. Alexander Leung are delighted to receive the accreditation by the Hong Kong Accreditation Service