What is ISO 17025?

ISO 17025:2005 General requirements for the competence of testing and calibration laboratories is the main ISO standard used by testing and calibration laboratories. There are many commonalities with the ISO 17025 standard, but ISO 17025 adds the concept of competence into the picture. And it applies directly to those organizations that produce testing and calibration results.

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Testing and calibration laboratories that comply with ISO 17025 will also operate in accordance with ISO 17025. The most significant changes introduced greater emphasis on the responsibilities of senior management, and explicit requirements for continual improvement of the management system itself, and particularly, communication with the customer. ISO 17025 was written to incorporate all the ISO 17025 requirements that are relevant to the scope of testing and calibration services as well as specifying the technical requirements for technical competence.

The ISO 17025 standard itself comprises five elements that are Scope, Normative References, Terms and Definitions, Management Requirements and Technical Requirements. The two main sections in ISO 17025 are Management Requirements and Technical Requirements. Management requirements are primarily related to the operation and effectiveness of the quality management system within the laboratory. Technical requirements include factors that determine the correctness and reliability of the tests and calibrations performed in laboratory.

ISO 17025 standard itself consists of 5 elements:
1. Scope
2. Normative References
3. Terms and Definitions
4. Management Requirements
5. Technical Requirements
Elements 4 and 5 contain the actual accreditation requirements.

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