Understanding the differences in the types of calibrations that are available will help your business make sure you are getting the proper calibrations performed. It also will ensure that you receive the information that is required on your calibration certificate.
There are two types of calibration that can be provided non-accredited and accredited. Here is a look at the two so that you can understand the differences between them.
A non–accredited calibration is also known as a commercial calibration, standard calibration or NIST Traceable calibration. It is the basic calibration that most are familiar with.
The calibration is performed with specific calibration procedures under the guidelines of the calibration laboratory’s quality system. The calibration certificate they issue will contain the basic equipment description information for the items calibration. Things such as manufacturer, model number, serial number, dates of calibration, next calibration due date, environmental conditions during the calibration, and a pass/fail or intolerance/out of tolerance designation.
The certificate will also include the equipment used by the calibration provider to perform the calibration for standard traceability and the appropriate technical or quality signatures for authorization.
An accredited calibration is performed according to uncertainty standards that are developed and approved by an official accrediting body. They use them as legally accepting documents.
In addition to all the information provided on the certificate for non-accredited calibrations, accredited calibrations must meet additional specific requirements that conform to the ISO/IEC 17025 international standards.
The accreditation logo will show the accreditation body that the laboratory has accreditation status and the accreditation number. The logo provides that the calibration provider has met the ISO/IEC 17025 guidelines and has the competence to perform the required measurements.
Accredited calibrations contain all ‘as-found’ and ‘as-left’ measurement data for their calibrations. The calibration data provides customers with a history of measurement trends for the item.
Measurement uncertainty is a combined measurement of the error sources and repeatability of the equipment during a specific measurement. This value gives the customers added information when analyzing the measurement accuracies.
All calibration labs can perform non–accredited calibrations. However, accredited calibrations can only be performed by calibration laboratories that have been accredited to the ISO/IEC 17025 standard. The accreditation body regularly audits the lab and its quality processes to ensure that the lab is following the requirements.
Accredited laboratories provide the evidence that they have the structure, competence, resources, and integrity to consistently obtain accurate measurement results.
The first thing to consider is does your industry have regulations that require accredited calibrations for the equipment. Then the decision for the service should be based on equipment usage. If the equipment is used in a low-risk environment where there are large specifications or just a pass/fail criterion, then a non-accredited calibration should be enough.
Equipment that is used for critical applications or to test or calibrate other equipment should have an accredited calibration performed.
If it requires an accredited calibration, it is important to verify that they include the equipment within the calibration laboratory’s ‘Scope of Accreditation’. This document is issued for every accredited lab that shows the technical parameters, measurement ranges, and best measurement uncertainty values for which it is accredited. To see the scope for SRP control systems ltd, please click here.
SRP Control is an ISO/IEC 17025 accredited calibration laboratory to NRC-CLAS and certified to ISO 9001:2015. We can provide accredited and non–accredited calibrations and repairs across a wide range of test and measurement equipment. If you need more information or help, our technicians are ready to assist you with all of your lab’s needs.