ISO/IEC 17025 is a global standard for the technical competence of calibration and testing laboratories. It requires laboratories to demonstrate that they operate a quality system covering processes, documentation and management, and that they generate technically valid results.
The ISO/IEC 17025 General Requirements for the Competence of Testing and Calibration Laboratories contains all of the requirements that testing and calibration laboratories need to demonstrate to customers and regulators that they operate a sound management system and is an especially useful tool to gain the confidence of customers.
Benefits of Implementing ISO/IEC 17025
ISO/IEC 17025 provides uncountable benefits - both tangible and intangible. A typical organisation would enjoy the following:
a systematic approach to control all its processes and well defined procedures and supporting documentation
achieve international recognition of its technical competence
gain the confidence of customers and interested parties, as well as open doors to new markets both locally and abroad
greater quality awareness amongst employees and reduced defects, scraps, rework, failures and service recovery
have a better corporate image in the eyes of regulators, customers, employees as well as the society at large
ISO/IEC 17025 Training Programmes
Understanding ISO/IEC 17025 Requirements
ISO/IEC 17025 Internal Auditing
What types of organisations does the ISO/IEC 17025 apply to?
Laboratories that test products and samples as well as those that calibrate precision instruments may use this standard.
Is this an industry-specific standard? Can the laboratory at my manufacturing concern implement this standard?
This standard is not an industry-specific standard per se though most who implement it tend to be organisations in the business of testing and calibration. A laboratory at a manufacturing concern or a laboratory at a hospital that find it useful to assure others of its technical competence may also use it.
How does this fit in with a Quality Management System? If I have ISO 9001 certification, what else do I need to do to achieve certification to this standard?
ISO/IEC 17025 is divided into two principal parts, i.e. Management requirements and Technical requirements. The management requirements are similar to the ISO 9001 Quality Management System. Hence, an organisation with prior ISO 9001 certification would fulfil this component and would only need to put in a bit more work on demonstrating that it is technically competent and able to generate valid results.
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