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Understanding the Differences Between Non-accredited and Accredited Calibrations

Understanding the Differences Between Non-accredited and Accredited Calibrations

Understanding the differences in the types of available calibrations will help your business make sure you are getting the proper calibrations performed. It will also ensure you receive the information required on your calibration certificate.  

Two types of calibration can be provided nonaccredited and accredited. Here is a look at the two so that you can understand the differences between them.

What is a Non-accredited Calibration?

A non-accredited calibration is also known as a commercial calibration, standard calibration, or NIST Traceable calibration. It is the essential calibration that most are familiar with.

Non-Accredited Calibration Certificate 

The calibration is performed with specific calibration procedures under the calibration laboratory’s quality system guidelines. The calibration certificate that is issued will contain the essential equipment description information for the item being calibrated. Things include 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 the calibration provider uses to perform the calibration for standard traceability and the appropriate technical or quality signatures for authorization.

What is an Accredited Calibration?

An accredited calibration is performed according to uncertainty standards developed and approved by an official accrediting body. They are used as legally accepted documents.

Accredited Calibration Certificate 

In addition to all the information provided on the certificate for nonaccredited 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 the laboratory was accredited by and the accreditation number. In addition, the logo provides that the calibration provider has met the ISO/IEC 17025 guidelines and is competent 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.

Accredited Calibration Laboratories 

All calibration labs can perform non-accredited calibrations. However, accredited calibrations can only be achieved by calibration laboratories certified to the ISO/IEC 17025 standard. The accreditation body audits the lab and its quality processes to ensure it follows the requirements.

Accredited laboratories provide evidence that they have the structure, competence, resources, and integrity to obtain accurate measurement results consistently.

How to Decide What Service You Need?

The first thing to consider is whether your industry has regulations requiring accredited calibrations for the equipment. Then the decision for the service should be based on how the equipment is used. 

Suppose the equipment is used in a low-risk environment with large specifications or a pass/fail criterion. In that case, a nonaccredited calibration should be enough.

Equipment used for critical applications or to test or calibrate other equipment should have an accredited calibration performed.

Scope of Accreditation Document

If an accredited calibration is required, verifying that the equipment is included within the calibration laboratory’s ‘Scope of Accreditation is essential. 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.

Accredited Calibration Lab and Certified

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 various test and measurement equipment. If you need more information or help.

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