Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory Program Improvement Project

The Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory (NRTL) Program recognizes private sector organizations to test and certify certain types of equipment for use in the workplace. Recognition as an NRTL signifies that the organization has demonstrated that it has the capability to test and certify equipment, and has met the necessary qualifications specified in the regulations for the Program. An NRTL determines that specific equipment and products meet consensus-based standards of safety to provide the assurance, required by OSHA, that these products are safe for use in the U.S. workplace.

The program was created over 25 years ago, and OSHA is embarking on a multi-year plan to update and modernize the program, and position it for today's demands and future growth.

The references below provide background information for program improvement initiatives and are provided as a point of reference.

Current Initiatives
NRTL Directive Update

To address some long needed program changes, OSHA has begun the process of aligning its NRTL directive with international standards. Proposed updates include:

  • Aligning program policies and the NRTL Directive with ISO/IEC 17025 and ISO/IEC17065
  • Adopting the impartiality requirements in ISO/IEC17065 as one method for NRTLs to demonstrate that they are “completely independent” from employers, manufacturers and vendors.
  • Clarifying existing “supplemental program” requirements that allow NRTLs to accept evaluation and test data from equipment manufacturers and independent testing organizations.


  • OSHA released an excerpt (PDF*) of the technical portion of the Draft NRTL Directive in August 2014 for informal comments.
  • OSHA anticipates publishing a Federal Register notice seeking comments on the complete Directive in late spring 2015.
  • OSHA anticipates publishing the final version of the Directive in late 2015 or early 2016.
NRTL Stakeholder Meetings

October 22, 2014:

March 15, 2013:

Details on future NRTL Stakeholder meetings will be announced in the Federal Register.

*Accessibility Assistance: Contact OSHA's Directorate of Technical Support and Emergency Management at (202) 693-2300 for assistance accessing PDF materials.

All other documents, that are not PDF materials or formatted for the web, are available as Microsoft Office® formats and videos and are noted accordingly. If additional assistance is needed with reading, reviewing or accessing these documents or any figures and illustrations, please also contact OSHA's Directorate of Technical Support and Emergency Management at (202) 693-2300.

**eBooks - EPUB is the most common format for e-Books. If you use a Sony Reader, a Nook, or an iPad you can download the EPUB file format. If you use a Kindle, you can download the MOBI file format.

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