New standard ISO/IEC 17025:2017

The new update of the standard ISO/IEC 17025 “General requirements for the competence of calibration and testing laboratories” was published in November 2007. This standard is applicable to all types of laboratories using standard or non-standard methods, and is useful for them to develop a system of quality, resource and technical operations management.

The standard had not been updated since 2005 and the recent additions are relevant because they incorporate some of the latest changes in the standards for management systems of the ISO family. Some of the most important changes are:

 

Range
The range has been expanded to include all laboratory activities, including testing, calibration and sampling.

New structure
A high-level structure is adopted to align with the structure of the ISO/IEC 17000 family of conformity assessment standards. While ISO/IEC 17025:2005 had 5 requirements + 2 attachments, the new version ISO/IEC 17025:2017 contains 8 requirements + 2 attachments.

Focus on processes
Greater emphasis is placed on the results of processes and the management of their elements, replacing the detailed description of activities and steps.

Electronic information systems
It incorporates the use of information and communication technologies, the use of computers, electronic records and reports.

Risk-based thinking
Risks and opportunities in the processes need to be determined and addressed through a preventive approach.

Traceability
Greater emphasis is placed on metrological traceability as a calibration requirement.

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