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ISO/IEC 17025:2017: Safeguarding Quality and Trustworthiness in Laboratory Sampling


Laboratory Sampling


ISO/IEC 17025:2017 mandates that all laboratories establish a sampling plan and method for testing or calibration when dealing with products, materials, or substances. A crucial component of these requirements is the creation of a documented sampling plan. Crafting a sampling plan in line with ISO/IEC 17025 necessitates a thoughtful evaluation of various factors to ensure the accurate and reliable sampling of materials or products.

 

These factors encompass, among other things: the selection of sampling location, size, method, equipment, procedures for sample collection techniques, as well as sample handling, preservation, and transportation. Additionally, it is recommended that sampling plans, whenever feasible, be founded on appropriate statistical methods. By taking these factors into account and adhering to the guidelines outlined in ISO/IEC 17025, laboratories can guarantee that their sampling processes are representative, reliable, and consistent, thereby producing precise and meaningful test or calibration results.

 

ISO 17025 accreditation, the global standard for testing and calibration laboratories, offers a multitude of advantages to laboratories seeking to demonstrate their technical competence and reliability. Here are some key benefits of accreditation under ISO 17025:

 

➔    Global Recognition:

ISO 17025 accreditation is universally acknowledged and esteemed, signifying that a laboratory has met rigorous international standards. This enhances the laboratory's credibility and reputation on both national and international levels.

 

➔    Competence Assurance:

Accreditation under ISO 17025 provides assurance that a laboratory possesses the technical competence to deliver accurate and reliable test and calibration results. It attests to the laboratory’s proficiency in performing tests, calibrations, and measurements within specific scopes of accreditation.

 

➔    Compliance with Regulatory Requirements:

Many industries and regulatory bodies mandate ISO 17025 accreditation to ensure adherence to quality and technical standards. Accreditation aids laboratories in meeting the specific regulatory requirements of their respective fields.

 

➔    Enhanced Customer Confidence:

ISO 17025 accreditation instils confidence in customers and stakeholders, assuring them that the laboratory operates under a robust quality management system and consistently produces reliable and accurate results. Accreditation can attract new customers and retain existing ones by showcasing a commitment to quality and competence.

 

➔    Improved Laboratory Operations:

The accreditation process prompts laboratories to assess and enhance their processes, procedures, and documentation. Implementing ISO 17025 streamlines operations, optimises resources, and identifies areas for improvement, resulting in increased efficiency and effectiveness.

 

➔    International Collaboration:

ISO 17025 accreditation facilitates international collaboration and recognition. Accredited laboratories can engage in proficiency testing schemes, interlaboratory comparisons, and joint research projects, expanding their networks and contributing to scientific advancements.

 

➔    Reduction in Risk and Errors:

ISO 17025 emphasises risk-based thinking, requiring laboratories to identify and manage potential risks that could impact the quality of test and calibration results. Accreditation aids in minimising errors, mitigating risks, and enhancing overall quality and reliability.

 

➔    Continuous Improvement:

Accreditation fosters a culture of continual improvement within the laboratory. Regular internal audits, management reviews, and corrective action processes ensure proactive identification and addressing of areas for enhancement, leading to ongoing quality improvement.

 

➔    Access to New Opportunities:

ISO 17025 accreditation opens doors to new business opportunities. Many clients, including government agencies, industries, and research institutions, prioritise working with accredited laboratories. Accreditation can lead to increased marketability, expanded service offerings, and access to projects and collaborations that require ISO 17025 compliance.

 

In conclusion, accreditation under ISO 17025 bestows numerous benefits upon laboratories, including global recognition, customer confidence, compliance with regulatory requirements, improved operations, and access to new opportunities. Adhering to the standard’s requirements enables laboratories to enhance their technical competence, quality assurance, and overall performance.

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