Accreditation for Testing and Calibration Laboratories

Testing and calibration accreditation refers to the process of evaluating and certifying that a laboratory or organization is competent to perform specific types of testing or calibration services. Testing and calibration services involve the measurement of physical quantities such as length, mass, temperature, and pressure, and are often used to ensure that products, systems, or processes meet specified requirements or standards.

Accreditation for Testing and Calibration Laboratories

Testing and calibration accreditation is typically conducted by a third-party organization, known as a certification body. Certification bodies assess the competence of laboratories or organizations by evaluating their technical capabilities, personnel qualifications, and quality management systems.

To obtain testing and calibration accreditation, a laboratory or organization must demonstrate that it has the necessary equipment, facilities, and personnel to perform the specific types of testing or calibration services for which it seeks accreditation. It must also have a quality management system in place that meets the requirements of the relevant accreditation standards.

There are several different types of testing and calibration accreditation standards, including ISO/IEC 17025, which is the international standard for the general competence of testing and calibration laboratories. Other standards include ISO 15189 (for medical laboratories), ISO/IEC 17020 (for inspection bodies), and ISO/IEC 17065 (for certification bodies).

Obtaining testing and calibration accreditation can be beneficial for laboratories and organizations in several ways. It can help to demonstrate their competence and credibility to customers and regulators, and may be required in order to perform certain types of testing or calibration services. Accreditation can also help to improve the quality and reliability of the services being offered, and may lead to increased business and revenue.

ISO/IEC 17025 is useful for any organization that performs testing, sampling or calibration and wants reliable results. This includes all types of laboratories, whether they be owned and operated by government, industry or, in fact, any other organization.

The standard is also useful to universities, research centres, governments, regulators, inspection bodies, product certification organizations and other conformity assessment bodies with the need to do testing, sampling or calibration.

Accreditation of a laboratory is an evidence of technical competence. It also means that the competence of a laboratory is recognized nationally and internationally. Customer is submitted to determine and select reliable and confidential test and/or calibration services. Test reports or calibration certificates issued by an accredited laboratory are valid and acceptable internationally.

A test laboratory establishes the properties of something. How many bacteria are there in the meat? How much harmful radiation does a device emit? How many heavy metals are in the water? This is often established using measuring equipment. This equipment therefore has to be calibrated by a calibration laboratory.

The test results are supplied to the client who then determines the meaning of the results. Is this brick hard enough for road use? Is this drinking water suitable for consumption? And so on. In principle, everything that can be measured is tested by a laboratory. The field of work of a test laboratory is therefore broad.

Measuring instruments have to give the correct readings. If a petrol pump says it has dispensed 50 litres of petrol we want to be certain that 50 litres have actually been dispensed. If a French car manufacturer asks for a 6 mm diameter bolt the supplier in Korea has to deliver a bolt with that precise diameter.

A calibration laboratory establishes whether the value that a measuring device gives is correct in relation to the international unit of measure. This is important for the entire production chain. The work of calibration laboratories is therefore the basis for other disciplines.

United States Accreditation Inc. Accreditation scheme for Calibration and Testing laboratories is strictly built as per ISO 17025.

ISO 17025 specifies requirements for the general requirements for the competence to carry out tests and/or calibrations, including sampling. It covers testing and calibration performed using standard methods, non-standard methods, and laboratory-developed. ISO/IEC 17025 is applicable to all laboratories regardless of the number of personnel or the extent of the scope of testing and/or calibration activities.

United States Accreditation Inc. accredits calibration and testing laboratories on the basis of the ISO/IEC 17025 standard. Accredited laboratories are obliged to participate in proficiency testing: testing whereby the test results from various laboratories are compared against each other.

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