Technical Articles

How do I maintain ISO 17025?

Maintaining ISO 17025 accreditation is essential for laboratories to demonstrate their technical competence and ensure the accuracy of their testing and calibration results. In this article, we will discuss some key strategies that laboratories can adopt to effectively maintain ISO 17025 compliance.

Regular Internal Audits

Conducting regular internal audits is an important aspect of maintaining ISO 17025 accreditation. Internal audits help in identifying any gaps or non-conformances in the laboratory's quality management system. During an internal audit, all aspects of the ISO 17025 standard should be thoroughly examined, including documentation, equipment, staff competency, and measurement traceability. By conducting internal audits at planned intervals, laboratories can ensure ongoing compliance with the standard.

Continuous Training and Competency Development

Ensuring the competency and continuous professional development of laboratory personnel is crucial for ISO 17025 compliance. Laboratory staff should undergo relevant training programs to enhance their skills and stay updated with the latest industry trends. Training programs may include workshops, seminars, online courses, and participation in proficiency testing schemes. By investing in the training and competency development of personnel, laboratories can uphold the highest standards of quality and technical expertise required by ISO 17025.

Equipment Calibration and Maintenance

Accurate test and calibration results depend on the proper functioning of laboratory equipment. Regular calibration and maintenance of equipment are essential requirements for ISO 17025 compliance. Laboratories should establish a schedule for equipment calibration, ensuring that it is performed by competent personnel using traceable standards. Regular maintenance, servicing, and calibration checks should be carried out to ensure the integrity and accuracy of measurement instruments throughout their lifespan.

Document Control and Record Keeping

Maintaining proper document control and record keeping processes is vital for demonstrating the compliance of laboratory operations with ISO 17025. All documents related to the quality management system, processes, procedures, and records of test/calibration results should be systematically organized and easily accessible. It is crucial to have well-defined document control procedures in place to ensure that only the latest versions of documents are used and that any changes are properly authorized, documented, and communicated.

In conclusion, maintaining ISO 17025 requires a systematic and proactive approach to quality management. Regular internal audits, continuous training and competency development, equipment calibration and maintenance, and effective document control and record keeping are key strategies for laboratories to ensure ongoing compliance with the standard. By implementing these strategies, laboratories can confidently demonstrate their technical competence and provide reliable and accurate testing and calibration services.


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