The importance of using an ISO 17025 accredited laboratory
ISO/IEC 17025 accreditation is the single most important standard for calibration and testing laboratories around the world. ISO 17025 accredited laboratories have demonstrated that they are technically proficient and able to produce precise and accurate test and calibration data. This is a third party-reviewed process that ensures a laboratory’s quality management system is thoroughly evaluated on a regular basis to guarantee continued technical competence and compliance with ISO 17025.
Laboratory accreditation bodies use the ISO 17025 standard specifically to assess factors relevant to a laboratory’s ability to produce precise, accurate test and calibration data; including:
- Traceability of measurements and calibrations to national standards
- Technical competence of staff
- Maintenance of test equipment
- Quality assurance of test and calibration data
- Validity and appropriateness of test methods
- Appropriate handling and transportation of test items
- Quality of calibration environment
To ensure continued compliance, accredited laboratories are regularly re-assessed to check that they are maintaining their standard of technical expertise. These laboratories are also required to participate in regular proficiency testing programs as an ongoing demonstration of their competence.