The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) created ISO 17025 accreditation for testing and calibration laboratories.
ISO 17025:2005 includes standard testing, nonstandard testing, and laboratory-developed testing methods.
Hence, laboratories undergo arduous yearly inspection to retain their accreditation.
Laboratories that are ISO 17025 compliant must meet several requirements such as:
- Uniquely identified and documented samples.
- Test results monitored for integrity and quality.
- Written procedures for all laboratory activities.
How Accreditation Bodies Benefit Laboratories
Several nations have one or more organisations responsible for the accreditation of their country’s laboratories.
Most of these accreditation bodies have now used ISO/IEC 17025 as the basis for accrediting testing and calibration laboratories.
As a result, countries were able to utilise a general approach in determining laboratory competence.
Likewise, ISO/IEC 17025 urged laboratories to adopt globally accepted testing and measurement practices.
The International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC) has established methods of assessing accreditation bodies against another ISO standard.
This enables accreditation bodies across the world to recognise each other’s accreditations.
Geopolitical regions such as the Americas, the European community, Africa, and the Asia-Pacific have created regional cooperations to handle the necessary work for mutual recognition.
These regional bodies include:
- Inter-American Accreditation Cooperation (IAAC)
- European Accreditation Cooperation (EA)
- Asia Pacific Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (APLAC)
- Southern Africa Accreditation Cooperation (SADCA)
Note that a clear system of control can achieve confidence in accreditation.
The accreditation body must also provide assurance that the accredited laboratory relentlessly fulfills the accreditation criteria.
Thus, a demonstration of compliance with Management and Technical Requirements will enable laboratories to facilitate a Quality Management System (QMS) for their testing and calibration activities.
Why Is This Relevant?
The International Standard applies to all organisations. This covers all testing and calibrations laboratories that certify products.
Therefore, your organisation is included even if you outsource to an ISO 17025 certified laboratory.
For instance, a laboratory implements a QMS to guarantee compliance with ISO 17025 requirements.
First, a laboratory must identify management roles and responsibilities through the formation of individual procedures for unique departments.
Next, it must provide staff with the applicable resources, communication processes, and guidelines.
Afterward, a laboratory should set particular goals for quality data, safety, and customer service.
Lastly, it must ensure a safe environment for employees while delivering the highest quality information and services to clients.
What Should Laboratories and Organisations Do?
- Create protocols to make sure that:
– Testing will fulfill client expectations;
– Reliable vendors are used;
– Customer issues are fixed in a timely manner;
– Documentation is properly maintained.
- Develop various procedures and methods to guarantee that clients get the highest quality of data.
- Generate systems to track non-conformances, corrective actions, preventive actions, and ongoing process improvements.
- Update the QMS to improve processes, as well as to deliver professional and excellent service to clients.
Why Should Organisations Comply with ISO 17025?
Overall, adherence to ISO 17025 equates to constantly improved data quality and laboratory effectiveness.
This is due to an increase in confidence in testing and calibration data, as well as personnel performing work.
Moreover, ISO 17025 compliant laboratories become technically competent after attaining better control of operations. This leads to greater feedback as to whether laboratories have sound Quality Assurance System.
Additionally, clients can look for and pinpoint laboratories accredited for their specific requirements.
What’s more, users of accredited laboratories will attain greater access for their products, in both domestic and international markets.
Finally, ISO 17025 will help laboratories save both money and time.
If your laboratory wants both a national and international reputation, take the first step by obtaining ISO 17025 toolkits from QSE Academy.
Once you’ve coordinated with our team of expert consultants, you are one step away from ISO 17025 accreditation.