The International Organization for Standardization or ISO has introduced a wide family of standards. While some standards are open to all industries, there are certain standards specific to a few industries. One such standard is ISO 17025. This standard is specific to calibration laboratories. We have observed that many laboratory owners suffer from a dilemma- whether they should put money and effort into implementing of ISO 17025 standard or they should overlook the standard. It is impossible to draw the conclusion by a single “yes” or “no”! In this article, we will discuss several aspects related to ISO 17025 certification to justify its importance to the calibration laboratories.

What does ISO 17025 Cover?

ISO 17025 standard is a set of requirements relevant to testing and calibration laboratories and other testing facilities. Having this standard in place, an organization can prove that they have an efficacious Quality Management System in place that enables the organization to exercise the best practices. It helps an organization build a trusted reputation with their customers. This standard examines both technical and management systems.

Technical and management systems are two broad sections that imply that the standard includes everything from equipment used for testing and data sampling. This particular standard has highlighted certain specifications, which can enhance the quality assurance within an organization. This will have a positive impact on quality control. Moreover, this standard has an impact on testing and calibrating standard and non-standard lab-oriented methods.

How to Implement the Standard?

Eight steps will help you head towards laboratory accreditation:

Step 1- Ask your management to define the project

Step 2- Held a meeting with your management and employees to discuss the details of the standard along with supporting literature and relevant information

Step 3- Define the primary scope of the standard and work with your team to prepare a checklist (you may consult with ISO 17025 accreditation consultants)

Step 4- Perform a gap analysis to explore the differences between the current state of your business management system and ISO 17025 requirements.

Step 5- As per the gap analysis report, laboratory professionals, finance department, and ISO consultants should estimate the accreditation costs.

Step 6- Management should be informed about the estimated costs and the scopes and opportunities of ISO 17025 accreditation.

Step 7- If management finds the estimated cost affordable and the opportunities essential, the process will be approved to proceed further.

Step 8- The standard will be implemented

What will an Organization Receive from ISO 17025 Accreditation?

By achieving ISO 17025 certification, an organization can receive a bunch of benefits. Some laboratory owners and managers are reluctant to implement the standard considering it a costly and time-consuming affair. Well, companies that have already taken the plunge are more likely to vouch that ISO 17025 is more than a simple standard. It acts as a catalyst and escalates the standard of testing and reporting methods.

Here, we have listed the major advantages of ISO 17025 accreditation. Let’s check them out:

• Enhances brand image

The consumers and businesses have always held the ISO family of standards high all across the world. Having an ISO certification helps an organization instills confidence in their interested parties. As an outcome, their brand image gets improved.

• Improves data quality

What does a consumer expect from a laboratory? An accurate test report, obviously. Results will be accurate only when the collected data is correct. Since ISO 17025 standard insists on ongoing improvement, a laboratory is always required to improve the quality of data to produce accurate test reports.

• Motivates integration with other quality systems

ISO 17025 Standard encourages an organization to integrate other relevant standards with ISO 17025 standard. For instance, you can integrate your calibration testing management system with good manufacturing practices and food laboratory practices.

• Improves organizational reputation and popularity

By enabling an organization to produce accurate test reports, this ISO standard improves the reputation of a calibration laboratory and increases its popularity in the market.

• Promotes the organization in the domestic and international market

Since ISO 17025 is an internationally accepted standard, it helps an organization establish its identity in both domestic and international market.

• Complies to legal obligations

This standard helps a laboratory meet the relevant legal obligations.

• Measures Quality and Capability

It is beyond doubt that data is important for every client. Hence, every laboratory should preserve the privacy of the clients’ data. ISO 17025 emphasizes data privacy.

A Final Takeaway

After going through this article, you might have developed a perception of ISO 17025. Now it would be safe to state that ISO 17025 standard is worth your money and efforts. It will help your laboratory stand out above all other calibration laboratories.

Author's Bio: 

Damon Anderson has been associated with a popular ISO 17025 certification-consulting firm over the years. He possesses profound knowledge of several other ISO standards and business management system. He provides ISO internal auditing services and training as well. Many entrepreneurs have admitted how his guidance has helped them implement ISO standards with ease.