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The ISO/IEC 17025:2017 is an international standard that specifies the general requirements for competence to carry out tests and/or calibrations in laboratories. It was first published in 1999 and recently revised in 2017. The new version brings several changes and improvements to enhance the quality and reliability of testing and calibration results. In this article, we will explore the three major points changes with ISO/IEC 17025:2017.
Point 1: Risk-based thinking
One of the significant changes in the latest version of the ISO/IEC 17025 standard is the introduction of risk-based thinking. Laboratories are now required to identify and address risks and opportunities that may affect the validity of test results or the laboratory's ability to meet customer requirements. This new approach encourages proactive planning and preventive actions to minimize potential risks and improve overall performance.
Point 2: Greater focus on information technologies
With the rapid advancements in technology, ISO/IEC 17025:2017 recognizes the increasing significance of information technologies in laboratory operations. The revised standard emphasizes the need for robust information management systems, including electronic records and data protection. Laboratories are expected to establish and maintain appropriate IT infrastructure, cybersecurity measures, and data integrity protocols to ensure the accuracy and confidentiality of test and calibration results.
Point 3: Enhanced impartiality and objectivity
Impartiality and objectivity are crucial factors in the laboratory accreditation process. ISO/IEC 17025:2017 puts a stronger emphasis on ensuring the independence and impartiality of laboratory activities. The revised standard requires laboratories to evaluate potential conflicts of interest, both within the organization and externally, and take necessary actions to mitigate them. It also encourages transparency in reporting and communicating information, such as stating whether the laboratory has any financial or other interests in the tested/calibrated items.
The ISO/IEC 17025:2017 brings notable changes to the previous version, further enhancing the quality and reliability of test and calibration results. The introduction of risk-based thinking emphasizes proactive risk management, while the focus on information technologies emphasizes the importance of robust IT systems. Additionally, the standard's enhanced requirements for impartiality and objectivity aim to strengthen confidence in laboratory operations. By adhering to these changes, laboratories can ensure compliance with international standards and provide accurate and reliable services to meet customer needs.
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