ISO/IEC 17025: What Does it Mean to You?
In this day and age there are many internationally recognized quality standards. One of the most common is ISO 9001, used predominantly in the production industries. This standard primarily addresses management, corrective and preventive polices and procurement. I’m sure you’ve heard of ISO/IEC 17025 in relation to laboratory quality standards and accreditation. These requirements were developed from the ISO 9001 – with a specific focus on laboratory functions.
What is ISO/IEC 17025?
ISO/IEC 17025 specifies requirements for the competency of the entity to carry out tests and/or calibrations, including sampling. It covers testing and calibration performed using standard methods, non-standard methods and laboratory-developed methods. It ensures accredited laboratories are able to demonstrate that they are technically proficient and that the data produced is both accurate and precise. While it is a voluntary requirement, the accreditation requirements are reviewed by third-parties to ensure that the laboratory’s quality management system is thoroughly evaluated to guarantee continued technical competency and compliance with ISO/IEC 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. This includes:
- Traceability of measurements and calibrations to both national and international standards
- Technical competence of laboratory staff
- Test equipment maintenance
- Quality assurance of test and calibration data
- Validity and appropriateness of test methods
- Appropriate handling and transportation of test items
Accreditation bodies regularly re-assess laboratories that are under the ISO/IEC 17025 for continued compliance to the standard. Furthermore, laboratories are required to participate in regular proficiency testing programs, to demonstrate their ongoing competence to perform the testing.
So, what does all of this mean to you, the customer?
Whether you are a current customer or are looking to begin fluid analysis testing with a laboratory, selecting an ISO/IEC-accredited laboratory helps you:
- Minimize risk – an important component of the ISO 9001 quality standard.
- Ensure you are choosing a technically-competent laboratory.
- Gain peace of mind that the laboratory a has sound, proficient quality system in place.
- Be confident the laboratory has had its systems and processes evaluated by an independent third party.
As an ISO/IEC 17025-accredited laboratory, POLARIS Laboratories® demonstrates a proven track record of having a robust and effective quality system to ensure that you, the customer, can expect accurate and reliable sample data and technically-sound maintenance recommendations. Learn more about POLARIS Laboratories’ commitment to quality performance and our ISO/IEC 17025 accreditation.
Proven Impact. Proven Uptime. Proven Savings.
Let us prove it to you.