An ISO 17025 certification is one of the most significant certifications for laboratories which has been issued by ISO (International Organisation for Standardization). ISO 17025 is the mainly the standard used for calibration and testing laboratories. This standard defines the general specifications for the expertise to perform tests and calibrations involving sampling. It includes laboratory developed methods, standard methods as well as non-standard methods. It encourages the laboratories to proclaim that they perform tests with great proficiency and produce valid results. The results produced by ISO 17025 certified laboratories are accepted internationally without needing further testing.
Laboratory accreditation bodies as e.g. UKAS, uses ISO 17025 to analyze a laboratory abilities to produce accurate and precise results involving staff competence, quality assurance of data, maintenance of laboratory equipment, appropriate transportation of samples, correct handling of samples and validity of testing procedures. The certified laboratories are re-assessed at planned intervals to validate they are maintaining the standards.
There are quite a few more requirements for an ISO 17025 certification compared to ISO 9001. In fact, the majority of the requirements from ISO 9001 is required as part of ISO 17025 as well.
The ISO 17025 standard is split in a few sections or main clauses at outlined below.
This section which is clause 5 of the standard cover the structural part of the laboratory. How it is setup and its structure within an organisation.
The process section contains a lot of the requirements to achieve ISO 17025 certification. The main part of that clause includes the following.
The management requirements is split in two options, Option B where the organisation already has ISO 9001 and cover the intent of this section/clause and Option A where following is required.
The basic difference is that ISO 9001 is pertinent for all type of businesses where as ISO 17025 is specifically associated with testing and calibration laboratories. ISO 9001 does not provide specific technical requirements to ensure the accuracy of the tests.
There are quite a lot of benefits from achieving an ISO 17025 certification, some of them includes.
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