ISO 17025 Laboratory Competence and Calibration
Despite its title, this ISO standard is not solely designed for laboratories.
Any company, whose activities include taking scientific readings to determine an outcome, will benefit from this standard.
The purpose of ISO 17025 is to achieve rigorous scientific processes within your organisation. If you’re working in a laboratory environment where your results are essential in providing your customers with information, then this standard enables you to produce those results with confidence. If you’re an engineer working on site then the readings feeding into your calculations will be based on reliable numbers.
If you work in forensics, then this standard is a requirement of your industry and you will need to gain accreditation.
To achieve this accreditation you’ll need to show that your processes are recorded, repeatable, controlled and error assessed. A regular procedural audit review is a requirement and has to feed into management level reviews.
Calibration is a specialised component of ISO 17025.
If you perform tests for others, then ISO 17025 is also the standard used to demonstrate that your calibrations are carried out reliably and accurately – thereby demonstrating your professional approach and reassuring your clients that they can stand behind their results with confidence.
Dependent upon your specific industry, you’ll also have to show compliance on a range of technical aspects to achieve and retain the accreditation.For example, if your business calibrates instruments for others, then the calibration aspect of the standard will apply to you.
In the UK, this standard is only assessed and awarded by the UK Accreditation Service (UKAS).