WHAT IS ISO 17025?
ISO/IEC 17025 is the main international standard used by testing and calibration laboratories. Originally known as ISO/IEC Guide 25, ISO/IEC 17025 was initially issued by the International Organization for Standardization in 1999.
There are many commonalities with the ISO 9000 standard, but ISO/IEC 17025 adds in the concept of competence to the equation, and it applies directly to those organizations that produce testing and calibration results.
There are two main clauses in ISO/IEC 17025 – Management Requirements and Technical Requirements. Management requirements are related to the operation and effectiveness of the quality management system within the laboratory, and this clause has similar requirements to ISO 9001. Technical requirements includes factors which determine the correctness and reliability of the tests and calibrations performed in laboratory namely competence of staff; environment control; testing methodology; equipment and measurement traceability; and reporting of test and calibration results.
Laboratories use ISO/IEC 17025 to implement a quality system aimed at improving their ability to consistently produce valid results. It is also the basis for Accreditation from an accreditation body.
WHAT IS A2LA?
In order for accreditation bodies to recognize each others accreditation’s, the International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC) worked to establish methods of evaluating accreditation bodies against another ISO standard (ISO/IEC Guide 58 – which became ISO/IEC 17011).
In the US there are multiple Accreditation Bodies (ABs). The non-profit, non- government multidisciplinary ABs are the ANSI-ASQ National Accreditation Board/ACLASS and A2LA.
A2LA (American Association for Laboratory Accreditation) provides world-class accreditation and training services for calibration laboratories.