With the end of the year wrapping up, it also means that the ANAB deadline for the transition to ISO/IEC 17025:2017 could quite possibly be here for you. Beginning January 1, 2019, laboratories seeking accreditation will be held to the requirements of the 2017 standard.
What is ISO/IEC 10725?
The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) is an international standard-setting body comprised of various national standards organizations. ISO/IEC 17025 specifies general requirements for laboratory competence, impartiality, and consistency in tests and calibrations. ISO/IEC 17025 is the standard for which most labs must hold accreditation to be technically competent.
A standard is reviewed every five years. 2017 it was updated to reflect the latest changes in laboratory environments and work practices. As a result, it made the ISO/17025: 2005 obsolete, and the standard was revised to IS0/17025:2017.
The Changes to the Standard
The new edition of the standard covers technical changes, vocabulary, and developments in IT techniques.
- Scope – It has been revised to cover testing, calibration, and sampling associated with subsequent calibration and testing.
- Structure – A new structure has been adopted to align the standard with the other existing ISO/IEC conformity testing standards, such as the ISO/IEC 1700 series on conformity assessment.
- Process Approach – It now matches that of newer standards like ISO 9001 (quality management), ISO 15189 (quality of medical laboratories), and ISO/IEC 17012-1 (requirements for audit and certification bodies).
- Terminology – The ISO/IEC terminology has been updated along with phasing out complex copy manuals, records, results, and reports for electronic versions.
- New Chapter – Risk-based thinking ensures that risks are identified, considered, and controlled throughout the design and quality management system and describes commonalities with the new version of ISO 9001:2015.
The Benefits of the ISO/IEC 17025:2017
One of the main benefits is that your laboratory will gain international recognition for its commitment to quality, competency, and reliable results.
Accreditation is also an objective way to assure your customers that you have the technical competence to provide reliable and accurate test or calibration results. This is an unbiased guarantee that your lab performs at its highest level.
You can set your lab apart from competitors. ISO/IEC 17025 is an ideal management system model for labs by aiming to control quality costs, improve measurement accuracy, and guarantee consistent results.
The elements work together to endure that required quality levels are met and that customers’ needs are satisfied. This is a powerful strategic tool for the competitive market.
Positive Financial Impact on Your Business
Having an international label and standard to attest to the reliability of laboratory results, especially between laboratories in different countries, allows the recognition of test results without reproducing the test from one country to another.
With the new standards, a laboratory can ensure that its electronic test results, reports, and records are compliant and that customers are confident with the products that can be trusted worldwide.