The ISO/IEC 17025 accreditation is the single most important standard for calibration and testing laboratories in the world. If you are a lab or a technician out in the field, you may wonder if it is necessary to work with an accredited calibration lab? Or can you just work a lab that performs the work and possibly cheaper because they are not accredited? Let’s also look at what an ISO/IEC 17025 accreditation really means.
ISO/IEC accreditation is the highest standard quality management system and the primary standard for calibration laboratories. It is a recognized global standard of quality control.
The standard specifically assesses factors relevant to a laboratory’s ability to produce precise, accurate test and calibration data. This includes:
To ensure continued compliance, accredited laboratories are regularly re-assessed to check that they are maintaining their standard of technical expertise. These laboratories must participate in regular proficiency testing programs as an ongoing demonstration of their competence.
You put the time and effort to select the best instruments for your test system. You want to be sure that you can rely on those instruments to provide accurate measurements that meet your specifications. Instrument calibration not only keeps your business profitable and inline it can also save you expenses in the long run.
Think of calibration like regular maintenance. It requires keeping a solid maintenance program, keeping instruments calibrated, certificates of calibration, and detailed records. However, in doing so, you will avoid costly downtime and disruptions to your laboratory’s work schedule. Working with an ISO/IEC 17025 accredited lab provides you a high level of certainty that the lab is also meeting industry standards and regulatory requirements.
ISO/IEC 17025 accreditation helps a lab minimize risk by ensuring that you are choosing a technically competent lab that has a sound quality control system in place. It also allows you to avoid expensive retesting, which enhances your confidence by knowing that the equipment has been evaluated by an independent, competent testing or calibration laboratory that has been assessed by a third party.
The ISO/IEC 17025 is by far the primary international standard for establishing laboratory competence and quality. It also facilitates cooperation between testing laboratories and other bodies establishing wider acceptance of results between countries and organizations. Test reports and Certificates of Analysis (CoA) can be accepted by organizations present in different countries without the need for further testing, which leads to better international trade.