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Canadian Association for Laboratory Accreditation Inc.

Building Laboratory Excellence

Realigning ISO/IEC 17025 (CAN-P-4D) with ISO900:2000

This note is to inform members of the work that is underway within ISO on realigning ISO/IEC 17025 with the quality management system wording used in ISO 9000:2000.

When ISO/IEC 17025 was issued in 1999, it was with the proviso that CASCO, the ISO Conformity Assessment Committee, be prepared to align the quality system wording in our standard with the wording used in ISO 9000:2000. The reason for this was that ISO/IEC 17025 made reference to "meeting the requirements of ISO 9000." In order to continue to retain this reference, and given that the document referred to, ISO 9000, was also undergoing major revision, it was agreed that ISO/IEC 17025 would be aligned with the new version of ISO 9000.

ISO 9000 was revised and re-issued in 2000 and one year later, the new 17025 working group (ISO/CASCO/WG 25) was established to undertake this realignment.

WG 25 first met in Jan 2002 and then again in Jul 2002. The WG decided, from inputs received from all laboratory sectors internationally, that:

  1. The standard was to retain its focus on technical competence, and
  2. Realignment was to keep any changes to the absolution minimum.

CAEAL is involved in this work because one of our staff members, Ned Gravel, is the Canadian Delegate to WG 25. Ned is also on the Task Group, a subset of WG 25, which has been given the task of drafting the actual amendments to propose to the whole WG. CAEAL's Executive Director, Rick Wilson, is also involved in an international effort initiated by the International Laboratory Accreditation Co-operation (ILAC) to bring the needs and viewpoints of the laboratory community to the ISO 9000 community.

The result of the work done by WG 25 is summarised in the ISO Announcement It is important to note that there will be no changes to our standard, at this time, that will affect laboratories in any substantial manner, and it appears likely that we will be able to retain our reference to ISO 9000.