When choosing aviation calibration services, what should you consider? The obvious answer is making sure that the scope includes the equipment you need calibrated. The second consideration is if the lab holds an ISO/IEC 17025 accreditation. The accreditation communicates quality. This is why many MROs and FBOs seek out an ISO/IEC 17025 accredited calibration lab.
When using any type of calibrated tool or equipment, accuracy is important. A reading can dictate how much torque should be used on a bolt, how long a piece of metal is cut, or how much air is flowing from one part of an aircraft system to another. AMTs use these readings to ensure that the work they are performing is meeting standards. They must be able to rely on equipment and readings to ensure everything is working correctly.
An ISO/IEC 17025 accredited calibration lab has successfully completed the qualification process. To receive accreditation, a calibration lab must prove accountability to an auditor. The core competencies are testing validity, documented testing procedures, and verified expertise of personnel. An auditor visits the calibration facility to conduct one day surveillance to ensure that ISO/IEC 17025 standards are being met. The second year, the lab must be re-accredited over a 4 day period.
What this means for the laboratory customers is peace of mind. The ISO/IEC 17025 accredited laboratory has proven that testing methods, internal processes, and documentation meet or exceed requirements.
The laboratory shall use appropriate methods and procedures for all tests and/or calibrations within its scope. These include sampling, handling, transport, storage and preparation of items to be tested and/or calibrated, and, where appropriate, an estimation of the measurement uncertainty as well as statistical techniques for analysis of test and/or calibration data.
The laboratory shall have instructions on the use and operation of all relevant equipment, and on the handling and preparation of items for testing and/or calibration, or both, where the absence of such instructions could jeopardize the results of tests and/or calibrations. All instructions, standards, manuals and reference data relevant to the work of the laboratory shall be kept up to date and shall be made readily available to personnel (see 4.3). Deviation from test and calibration methods shall occur only if the deviation has been documented, technically justified, authorized, and accepted by the customer.
The ISO/IEC 17025 process exists to ensure that testing methods and readings are accurate. As an ISO/IEC 17025 calibration lab customer, you can be assured that the tools and equipment you use were calibrated correctly. If you want to make 100% sure that your tooling is calibrated and displaying accurate readings, you should use an ISO/IEC 17025 accredited calibration lab.