What is ISO/IEC 17025:2017

An ISO/IEC 17025 General requirement for the competence of testing and calibration laboratories is the main ISO standard used by testing and calibration laboratories. Originally known as ISO/IEC Guide 25, ISO/IEC 17025 was initially issued by the International Organization for Standardization in 1999. There are many commonalities with the ISO 9000 standard, but ISO/IEC 17025 adds in the concept of competence to the equation. And it applies directly to those organizations that produce testing and calibration results. Since its initial release, a second release was made in 2005 after it was agreed that it needed to have its quality system words more closely aligned with ISO 9001.

Going further ISO/TS 16949 standard clause 7.6.3.1 very much advocates an organization's internal laboratory facility shall have a defined scope that includes its capability to perform the required inspection, test or calibration services and further in the clause it emphasis on competency of the laboratory personnel, testing of the product and capability to perform these services correctly, traceable to the relevant process standard to meet these requirement.

The contents of ISO/IEC 17025 - The ISO/IEC 17025 standard itself comprise five elements that are Scope, Normative References, Terms and Definitions, Management Requirements and Technical Requirements. The two main sections in ISO/IEC 17025 are Management Requirements and Technical Requirements. Management requirements are primarily related to the operation and effectiveness of the quality management system within the laboratory. A technical requirement includes factors which determine the correctness and reliability of the tests and calibrations performed in laboratory.

What are the Benefits of ISO 17025?

» Laboratories use ISO/IEC 17025 to implement a quality system aimed at improving their ability to consistently produce valid results.
» It is also the basis for accreditation from an accreditation body. Since the standard is about competence, accreditation is simply formal recognition of a demonstration of that competence.
» A prerequisite for a laboratory to become accredited is to have a documented system. In India NABL is the only body which approves the accreditation process.

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