Six key benefits of ISO 17025 implementation

Testing is used in many industries, but offering testing as a professional service requires that any type of measurement, sampling or calibration laboratory pass through the process of accreditation. When it comes to the accreditation, the company is obligated to show conformity to the ISO 17025 standard. Compliance with the ISO 17025 standard assures that required competence and quality are added to the company’s profile. Managing the testing laboratory is an internal company process that should rely on a solid foundation. In this article you will find the main benefits of ISO 17025 implementation.

1) Professional working approach

Implementing ISO 17025 will enable a hierarchical order and clear job responsibilities for all the employees. Procedures and policies that the laboratory establishes will determine which actions are required from the personnel. They will follow established procedures, policies and work rules, and will fulfil the company’s expectations. As a result, internal company management will become more achievable and it will improve the chances for the systematic reduction of errors through risk management. Laboratory employees will also perform their jobs more responsibly, opening the path to successful personal development. These efforts for the promotion of a professional approach will significantly increase the chances of the company becoming more competitive and promoting their services as valid and reliable.

2) Reliable ‘laboratory – customer’ relations

An ISO 17025 laboratory will assist customers by attending to any questions related to the test process and their expectations of the results. Laboratory management must be confident that customer relations are managed and that there is space for building trust through customer feedback. The client has a trusted business relationship when the laboratory is committed to confidentiality and does not share information about results with the public, except when there is an agreement from the customer for the laboratory to do so. Also, there is an option for the customer to express concerns about the laboratory’s work. Of course, the laboratory will confirm that it has received such concerns, it will investigate it and will inform the customer regarding progress and final decisions.

3) Competence demonstration

Competency assessment ensures that only trained, skilled and authorized staff can perform laboratory tasks. To present its competence, the laboratory has to successfully execute the technical test procedures. The personnel must prove they know how to follow procedures and handle any problems that may arise during the activities. Demonstration of competence provides assurance that the laboratory test will be valid. If all the processes inside the laboratory are managed and validated then the reputation of the laboratory will be sustainable.

Six key benefits of ISO 17025 implementation

4) An iterative process of management

The ISO 17025 standard provides options for iterative management of the processes in the laboratory. The process is repeatable driving improvement and reducing complexity. Quality management of the processes can be used as a method for improvement in the laboratory work, employee work attitude and their improvement of skills. It also promotes the relevance of the final report and detection/avoidance of calculation or system errors.

5) The validity of the final report

An accredited laboratory submits final reports to customers, where the results are used as the basis for a decision, or to verify conformity to a specification. As there is natural variation in results due to the nature of testing, controls are in put in place to reduce this range of variation in an ISO 17025 laboratory. Evaluation of this measurement uncertainty is done to support the validity of the assertion. The final report must provide the necessary information and be accurate, showing that the laboratory has a proven reputation that it stands behind.

6) Conformity with testing trends

Accredited ISO 17025 laboratories follow changes to ISO 17025 and, if there is need, improvements are initiated, and corrective actions are taken. Skilled laboratory personnel might promote new testing methods or improve existing ones. In this way, the laboratory is able to upgrade or introduce new services through a planned approach that involves personnel working on building laboratory expertise.

Learn more about laboratory measurement in ISO 17025 in the article What does ISO 17025:2017 require for laboratory measurement equipment and related procedures?

Why ISO 17025?

The ISO 17025 international standard for laboratories can be adopted by all laboratories performing testing, calibration or sampling. If the laboratory has decided that they want to offer competent, professional testing services, accreditation is a strong guarantee to customers that it offers relevant services and creates a bond of trust regarding those services. ISO 17025 gives laboratories the opportunity to continuously maintain the complex process of testing and to achieve a higher level of quality in their management system.

Learn more about ISO 17025 implementation in this free Diagram of ISO 17025 Implementation Process.

Advisera Igor Stameski
Igor Stameski
Igor Stameski has completed the Faculty of Electrical Engineering at the Department of Electronics and Telecommunications and a Master’s degree in Telecommunications. He has had engagements in telecommunication companies, industry, and government institutions for the design of telecommunication systems and networks, laboratory measurements in telecommunications and in the industry, as well as evaluation of innovation proposals and technical documentation in the field of IT and telecommunications. He is familiar with the processes of successful accreditation and quality management for laboratory measurements in accordance with the ISO 17025 Standard.