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ISO/IEC 17025:2017 Optimize processes and stay competitive
What is new and relevant for practice?
Over the years, ISO / IEC 17025 "General requirements for the competence of testing and calibration laboratories" has become the international reference for testing and calibration laboratories, demonstrating their ability to deliver reliable results. Not only does certified compliance with ISO 17025 standards provide proof that first, second or third-party laboratories are competent enough to test, calibrate and take specified samples, but also provides a much needed assurance to potential customers and/or financial supporters. ISO 17025 is the only internationally accepted standard for laboratory quality systems that provides a globally accepted basis for accreditation.
Laboratories have to continuously provide high-quality services if they tend to be successful in the marketplace. Using the ISO 17025 standard will assure quality improvement and consistency in an organization.
The first version (ISO Guide 25) of this standard was published in 1999, by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). The second version was released in 2005, which is more aligned with the ISO 9001:2000 standard regarding quality system words.
ISO 17025:2005 specifies the general requirements a laboratory has to meet if it is to be recognized as competent to carry out tests and/or calibrations, including sampling. It covers testing and calibration performed using standardized methods, methods not covered by standardized methods, and laboratory-developed methods.
Since the standard was last issued, the working environment of the laboratories has changed significantly, which has led to the decision to revise ISO / IEC 17025 and incorporate significant changes.
The standard now recognizes and incorporates the use of computer systems, electronic records and the production of electronic results and reports. Modern-day laboratories work increasingly with information and communication technologies and hence a chapter on this topic was developed. In addition, the new version of the standard includes a chapter on risk-based thinking and describes the commonalities with the new version of ISO 9001:2015, Quality management systems – Requirements.
Our new whitepaper "ISO/IEC 17025:2017 – A Selection of Implementation Tools" gives tips on how the new standard can be best put into practice. It highlights: