The alternative to using an accredited calibration lab would be to use a laboratory that is unaccredited and performs commercial work. Another option would be to use the equipment’s manufacturer. Although both these alternatives can perform the same calibrations as those an accredited lab can perform, it is best to remember why exactly a lab has been granted accreditation in the first place. Unaccredited laboratories and manufacturers are not observed by an accrediting body and are not required to meet high level of standards.
When choosing an accredited calibration lab, all cards are laid out on the table – there are never any surprises or unknown areas. Accredited labs undergo an extremely thorough assessment period which requires them to meet all standards before being deemed as accredited and compliant with ISO 17025. The International Organization of Standards created 17025 as a recognizable global standard of quality and conformance. During the accreditation assessment, a Scope of Accreditation is created to show exactly what a lab is accredited to do.
Because of this voluntary process, accredited calibration labs guarantee competent personnel, a monitored laboratory environment and equipment traceability through NIST. By choosing an accredited calibration lab, you are ensuring calibration accuracy. It’s important to note that accuracy in calibrations is crucial when it comes to proper operation of equipment and the safety of personnel operating the equipment. If calibrations are off, it could put a handful of people at risk. The risk of inaccurate results, along with process variance, inappropriate testing conditions, and poor documentation, are substantially reduced when working with an accredited laboratory. It is also important to remember that not all unaccredited laboratories are equal, therefore not all calibrations are equal.
By choosing an accredited calibration lab, you are guaranteeing yourself accuracy, compliance and satisfaction.
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