ISO 17025 standard

Not sure what the difference is between an ISO 17025 accredited calibration lab and a lab that is ISO 17025 compliant? You are not alone. Many aviation quality and hangar managers have the same question. An ISO 17025 compliant lab claims to meet all standard requirements, where as an ISO 17025 accredited lab has proven competence and met standard conditions to an accrediting body. Accreditation provides proof of compliance. When considering an aviation calibration lab, determine accreditation status.

What is ISO 17025?

ISO/IEC 17025 is a globally recognized standard that was created for calibration and testing laboratories. The quality management system was the core focus of ISO 9000, this standard did not include testing procedure verification. To ensure proper testing procedures and environment, the ISO/IEC 17025 standard was issued in 1999. The standard applies to all laboratories regardless of scope coverage.

ISO/IEC 17025 Accreditation

For an aviation calibration laboratory to obtain ISO/IEC accreditation, an audit must be performed. The ISO/IEC 17025 accreditation is formal recognition given by an accrediting body that a laboratory has displayed calibration testing competence. Accreditation is voluntary, there are no requirements that a laboratory must obtain or maintain ISO/IEC 17025 accreditation to perform calibration testing. The ISO/IEC 17025 accreditation is accepted internationally as proof of conformance to the standards requirements. The accreditation process includes document review, process audit, and accreditation result. An audit is performed annually by the accrediting body.

Scope Determination

The accreditation audit includes demonstration of testing skills and competence. An aviation laboratory will perform instrument testing procedures during auditor observation. If these testing processes meet the ISO/IEC 17025 standard, the competency is added to the scope of calibration.  Each instrument category listed on the scope includes the testing method, detection limit, and reference standard. The scope of calibration and the 17025 accreditation are the same document. The accreditation information is often listed on the first page, with the scope following.

What does ISO 17025 Compliant Mean?

While researching aviation calibration laboratories, you may come across an organization that is ISO 17025 compliant. This can be confusing because there is no simple way to verify that a lab is compliant to the ISO/IEC 17025 standard unless the accreditation process has been completed. Advertising a laboratory as compliant can be misleading. Adhering to principles does not mean that processes and procedures conform to the standard. The only way to verify process conformance is through an audit. Compliance is not the same as accreditation.

Why Choose an ISO 17025 Accredited Calibration Lab?

An ISO 17025 accredited calibration lab is often considered a safer choice over an ISO 17025 compliant laboratory. The benefit of an accredited lab is risk mitigation, increased confidence, and maintaining quality requirements. The International Organization of Standards created 17025 as a recognizable global standard of quality and conformance. Laboratories that pass all necessary audits are awarded the accreditation, which communicates proven effectiveness of testing efforts and verification of the quality management system. The risk of process variance, inappropriate testing conditions, and poor documentation are substantially reduced when working with an accredited laboratory.

Recognition of Competence

The confirmation of performance by an accrediting body simplifies the conformance verification process for most organizations. The majority of companies find that verifying quality by checking accreditation status is much easier than conducting their own audits. Even if an organization were to research internal controls and processes, they may not know what to look for in regards to conformance.

Conformance Factors:

Quality Requirements & Guidelines

Internal, customer, or regulatory guidelines are becoming firmer with time. Requirements will often dictate the use of a third party, ISO 17025 accredited calibration laboratory. Many times this is to decrease risk throughout a supply chain.

When choosing an aviation calibration laboratory, don’t confuse ISO 17025 compliance with accreditation. Although the terms sound similar, they are not the same. Review quality guidelines or requirements to determine if you need to use an ISO 17025 accredited calibration lab. To ensure that a laboratory can meet quality requirements, review the accreditation documentation.

About e2b calibration

Located in Northeast Ohio, e2b calibration is an ISO 17025 accredited calibration lab. A full scope of services (traceable to NIST) are available for most calibration, test, and measurement instruments including Barfield, Druck, and more. Service is available onsite or at our environmentally controlled laboratory. e2b calibration is a Tronair Authorized Service Center and provides GSE training for MROs, FBOs, and other aviation organizations.

Our staff includes highly-trained metrology experts, quality control and laboratory management, and a full support department for accounting, software, and customer account management. Our goal is to provide customers with an easy, convenient way to manage calibration and repair.