Calibration as well as testing and analysing a sample is the daily practice of more than 60,000 laboratories worldwide, but how can they reassure customers about the reliability of their results?
ISO/IEC 17025:2017, General requirements for the competence of testing and calibration laboratories, is the international reference for laboratories carrying out calibration and testing activities around the world.
ISO/IEC 17025 enables laboratories to demonstrate that they operate competently and generate valid results, thereby promoting confidence in their work both nationally and around the world.Producing valid results that are widely trusted is at the heart of laboratory activities. ISO/IEC 17025:2017 allows laboratories to implement a sound quality system and demonstrate that they are technically competent and able to produce valid and reliable results.
ISO/IEC 17025 also helps facilitate cooperation between laboratories and other bodies by generating wider acceptance of results between countries. Test reports and certificates can be accepted from one country to another without the need for further testing, which, in turn, improves international trade.
ISO/IEC 17025 General requirements for the competence of testing and calibration laboratories
ISO/IEC 17025 specifies the general requirements for the competence, impartiality and consistent operation of laboratories.
ISO/IEC 17025 is applicable to all organizations performing laboratory activities, regardless of the number of personnel.
Laboratory customers, regulatory authorities, organizations and schemes using peer-assessment, accreditation bodies, and others use ISO/IEC 17025 in confirming or recognizing the competence of laboratories.
ISO/IEC 17025 has two key clauses; Management Requirements which are associated with the performance and efficiency of the Quality Management System inside the laboratory, and Technical Requirements which focus on the competencies of employees, testing methodology, equipment, and the test and calibration results.
Over the years, ISO/IEC 17025, General requirements for the competence of testing and calibration laboratories, has become the international reference for testing and calibration laboratories wanting to demonstrate their capacity to deliver trusted results. The International Standard, published jointly by ISO and IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission), contains a set of requirements enabling laboratories to improve their ability to produce consistently valid results.
However, the laboratory environment has changed dramatically since the standard was last published, leading to the decision to revise the standard and integrate significant changes. Steve Sidney, one of the Convenors of the working group revising the standard, explains: “The last version of ISO/IEC 17025 was published in 2005. Since then, market conditions have changed and we felt we could bring some improvements to the standard.”
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ISO/IEC 17025 enables laboratories to demonstrate that they operate competently and generate valid results, thereby promoting confidence in their work both nationally and around the world.