CALA and ISO/IEC Standards
The standard that governs the delivery of laboratory accreditation is ISO/IEC 17011. ILAC decided that it was to be implemented by accreditation bodies by 31 December 2005 if they wish to maintain their international recognition. ISO/IEC 17011 and its draft revisions, have been part of the CALA quality system since 2001.
ISO/IEC 17025 is the standard that details the competence requirements for testing and calibration laboratories. It is the basis of the CALA Accreditation was first issued in 1999. It was subsequently aligned with ISO 9000:2000 in 2005.
The most important element of the alignment of ISO/IEC 17025 to ISO 9000:2000 was a global understanding that calibration and testing laboratories can meet the principles of ISO 9000 by demonstrating competence with a quality system based on 17025. In other words, accreditation to ISO/IEC 17025 is sufficient demonstration of conformance to quality system requirements in and of itself. Other recognitions based on other standards are not necessary for calibration and testing laboratories. Joint statements from the ISO, the International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC) and the International Accreditation Forum (IAF) have confirmed this.
For more information on this standard and its place in the laboratory community please take a few moments and review the following informative links:
- See http://www.cala.ca/ia_ILAC_survey_report.pdf for the results of the ILAC Survey regarding the implementation and take up of ISO/IEC 17025.
- See http://www.cala.ca/nw_17025_2005.pdf for the announcement to CALA members on the process to implement the revised ISO/IEC 17025.
- See http://www.cala.ca/17025_Joint_Communique.pdf for the Joint ISO/ILAC/IAF Declaration on the two statements regarding management systems requirements for laboratories.