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What is ISO / IEC 17025 Accreditation?

What is ISO / IEC 17025 Accreditation?

The ISO/IEC 17025 accreditation is the most important standard for calibration and testing laboratories worldwide. They intend this standard to be required for the competence, impartiality, and consistent operation of testing and calibration laboratories of all sizes or numbers of employees, regardless of industry.

Accreditation Versus Certification

The ISO / IEC defines accreditation as a “third-party attestation related to a conformity assessment body conveying formal demonstration of its competence to carry out specific conformity assessment tasks.” “A certification is a third-party attestation related to products, processes, systems, or persons.”  

To ensure continued compliance, accredited laboratories are regularly re-assessed to check that they maintain their technical expertise. In addition, these laboratories are also required to participate in regular proficiency testing programs as an ongoing demonstration of their competence.

Assess Factors 

Laboratory accreditation bodies use the ISO 17025 standard to assess factors relevant to a laboratory’s ability to produce precise, accurate test and calibration data. 

This includes:

  • Traceability of measurements and calibrations to national standards
  • Technical competence of staff
  • Maintenance of test equipment
  • Quality assurance of test and calibration data
  • Validity and appropriateness of test methods
  • Appropriate handling and transportation of test items
  • Quality of the testing environment

Why Do You Want Your Lab to Be ISO Accredited?

Laboratories accredited to the international standard ISO 17025 have demonstrated that they are technically competent to produce accurate and reliable test data. In addition, it assures clients that an effective management system, equipment is calibrated correctly and that the lab meets these accredited standards.

How Does This Benefit You as the Customer?

ISO / IEC 17025 accreditation helps you minimize risk by ensuring that you choose a technically competent lab with a quality system in place. When the lab goes through the accreditation process, they observe the laboratory personnel. In addition, the staff must understand how to operate the equipment and how the equipment affects calibration results. Therefore, the person is technically competent.

The assessment process ensures that the lab’s environment does not invalidate the results of calibrations or adversely affect the required quality of a measurement.

Accredited labs must meet the highest industry standards so that you can be confident in the results. In addition, it allows you to avoid expensive retesting.

Primary Standard Internationally

The ISO / IEC 17025 is the international standard. It also facilitates cooperation between testing laboratories and other bodies, establishing wider acceptance of results between countries and organizations. 

Organizations in different countries can accept test reports and certificates of Analysis (CoA) without further testing. This leads to better international trade and avoids the expensive costs of shipping your equipment overseas to be calibrated.

Due Diligence in Finding a Lab 

When choosing to work with an ISO 17025-accredited laboratory, you can rest assured that your equipment will be handled accurately and in a compliant manner. Research the company and make sure that they are ISO 17025 accredited. They will be able to apply risk-based thinking and a process approach to the requirements of ISO 17025, to manage risks and drive improvement more efficiently for your lab. In addition, by working with an accredited lab, they will save you costly downtime and disruptions to your laboratory’s work schedule.

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