Not every lab is an ISO 17025 accredited calibration lab, so why should you bother with the extra effort of finding and using one? And how do you know if the lab you are using is an ISO 17025-accredited calibration lab? Is compliance the same thing as accreditation? These questions were answered in a recent interview with Bill Hirt of ACLASS Accreditation Services.
Hirt cited international confidence and traceability to be among the most important reasons for using an ISO 17025 accredited calibration lab but other important factors include accuracy, repeatability, and reliability of the calibrations and the technicians performing them. Another important point discussed in the interview is that having your calibration done by the manufacturer does not mean traceability! Not all manufacturers are ISO 17025-accredited and that is a common point of confusion for many.
An ISO 17025 accredited calibration lab goes through a strict annual audit each year where an auditor will come in and watch technicians work, review the labs documentation for standards and customer certifications, and verify that the lab meets all requirements necessary and they are using proper test equipment to perform their calibrations. Any lab can be compliant but they are not accredited. Labs who are compliant do not go through this auditing process and are not recognized by the ISO accreditation body. This means the lab has not proven they have the competence, expertise, equipment required, or the proper procedures to perform valid calibrations.
How do you know if the manufacturer or lab is ISO 17025 accredited? Speak with someone from the lab and be sure to request documentation. Specifically you are looking for their “Scope of Accreditation” which states what the lab has been accredited for. Another indication is an accreditation icon that will be on the calibration certificate provided to you after the calibration was complete.
e2b calibration is an ISO/IEC 17025 accredited calibration and repair laboratory providing a full scope of services (traceable to NIST) for most popular calibration, test, and measurement instruments. Calibration services are provided in our climate-controlled, state-of-the-art ISO 17025 laboratory with on-site services and local pick-up and delivery available on request.
What else should your calibration lab have?
Check out our checklist.