ISO/IEC 17025 – the standard for quality management in laboratories
The quality of testing and calibration systems can make or break the reputation of a laboratory. Correct and rightful results are everything for these types of organisations. To eliminate chance from the equation, you can count on a specific management standard: ISO/IEC 17025.
What is ISO 17025?
ISO/IEC 17025 – General requirements for the competence of testing and calibration laboratories enables laboratories to demonstrate that they operate competently and provide valid results.
In 2017, ISO published a new version of the standard in order to respond to technical changes and new developments within IT and the market. The latest version of ISO 17025 also considers the most recent version of ISO 9001 (2015), the standard for quality management.
What has changed?
How can ISO/IEC 17025 benefit your laboratory’s quality management system?
ISO/IEC 17025 enables laboratories to demonstrate that they operate competently and provide valid results, thereby promoting confidence in their work both nationally and globally.
The standard also facilitates cooperation between laboratories and other bodies by ensuring the wider acceptance of results between countries. Test reports and certificates originating from other countries can be accepted without the need for further tests which, in turn, benefits international trade.
Mandatory accreditation in Belgium
Belgian laboratories which apply the ISO/IEC 17025 standard must undergo an external audit via BELAC, the Belgian accreditation body. If the audit is passed, the laboratory will be issued an official certificate that is valid for 5 years and will boost the laboratory’s image.
What type of organisation is ISO/IEC 17025 intended for?
ISO/IEC 17025 is useful for any organisation that carries out testing, sampling or calibration and wants to guarantee reliable results. These include all types of laboratories, whether they are owned and operated by the government, industry or by another organisation.
The standard is also useful for:
- universities and research centres;
- inspection bodies;
- product certification organisations and other conformity assessment bodies which carry out testing, sampling or calibration.
How should you go about implementing the standard?
The NBN can help you to implement standards within your company or organisation. Purchase standards, take one of our training courses to gain insights into certain standards, and/or join committees and make your voiceheard.
Would you like to broaden your knowledge through training? Send us an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 02 300 78 52.
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Would you like to help develop standards? Join one of our committees. Send us an e-mail at email@example.com or call 02 300 78 53.