General Accreditation Guidance for ISO 17025: 2017

General Accreditation Guidance for ISO 17025: 2017

Purpose and Background Information

The most popular standard for the competence of testing and calibration laboratories has just been updated, taking into account the latest changes in laboratory environment and work practices.

ISO/IEC 17025:2017, General requirements for the competence of testing and calibration laboratories, is the international reference for laboratories carrying out calibration and testing activities around the world.

Testing as per the international standards and generating the lawful results that are widely accepted is the main objective of the ISO/IEC 17025:2017. This standard allows laboratories to implement the best quality management system and demonstrate the competency and able to produce valid and reliable results.

ISO/IEC 17025 through the accreditation bodies such as NABL helps the laboratories generated results facilitate cooperation between laboratories which are similar, wherever they are tested worldwide. Test reports and certificates can be accepted from one country to another without the need for further testing, which, in turn, improves international trade.

In order to reproduce the latest changes in market conditions and technology, the new edition of the standard involves the laboratory operations and new ways of working. It covers technical changes, terminology, developments in IT/Hardware techniques and takes into consideration the latest version of ISO 9001 on quality management system.

Discover the new ISO/IEC 17025:2017

Laboratories already accredited to ISO/IEC 17025:2005 will need to changeover their processes to the new version within a three-year period from the publication date of the new standard.

Even though the structure of the standard is different to the previous version, the requirements now included have been adopted in a more direct(simplified) and clearer manner. With the exception of a few requirements, most of the changes in the standard are of an editorial nature.

The main changes compared to the previous edition are as follows:

  • The risk-based thinking has enabled some reduction in prescriptive requirements and their replacement by performance-based outcomes;
  • There is greater flexibility in the requirements for processes, procedures, documented information and organisational responsibilities;
  • A definition for “laboratory” has been added;
  • The mandatory adoption of the requirements relating to impartiality, confidentiality, complaints / appeals and management systems;
  • The requirements in the 2005 version of the standard relating to “Purchasing services and supplies” and “Subcontracting of tests and calibrations”have been combined;
  • The “decision rule” to apply when reporting a statement of conformity

Further contact Envitest Laboratories for the rebuilding of the Quality System and Technical activities as per ISO/IEC 17025:2017, General requirements for the competence of testing and calibration laboratories.