ISO 17025 in Canada

About ISO 17025 in Canada

Because of differences in personnel expertise, lab equipment used, and Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) followed when executing laboratory tests, analytical testing laboratories often generate different test findings for a particular sample. The use of uncalibrated and unmaintained instruments, laboratory conditions, and the competency level of laboratory personnel conducting a test all contribute to these discrepancies. As you can see, there many elements that might contribute to the irregularity and inaccuracy of test findings and the decisions made as a result of them!

So, what rules can a testing laboratory follow to assure consumer safety and product quality?

One such rule is ISO 17025, which offers a set of requirements for testing laboratories. To establish their technical competency and ensure the accuracy of test results, testing laboratories must obtain ISO 17025 accreditation. The importance of ISO 17025 accreditation for your laboratory will be discussed in this blog.

ISO 17025 in Canada

About ISO 17025 in Canada

The international standard ISO/IEC 17025:2017 establishes the general requirements for the competent, impartial, and consistent functioning of laboratories. It outlines the tasks that must be included in laboratory operations in order to boost trust in the laboratory’s capacity to generate valid and consistent testing, calibration, and sampling findings. The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) collaborated on the publication of ISO 17025. ISO 17025 promotes international acceptance of results by assisting in the harmonization of procedures and standard techniques, and facilitating cooperation between laboratories and other bodies.

What Organizations Require ISO 17025 in Canada?

The ISO 17025 standard applies to all laboratories, regardless of their size or the scope of their testing and calibration methods. It is used by laboratories to establish their quality, safety, and technical operations management systems. Overall, labs employ ISO 17025 in Canada to create a quality management system (QMS) in order to improve their consistency in generating legitimate results.

How to Prepare Your Lab for ISO 17025 in Canada

A laboratory must design and implement solutions to manage risks and opportunities, according to ISO 17025. Addressing both risks and opportunities lays the groundwork for increasing the management system’s performance, achieving better results, and avoiding undesirable repercussions. The laboratory is responsible for evaluating which dangers and possibilities need to be addressed.

ISO 17025 in Canada will make it easier for laboratories to collaborate and share information and experience while also harmonizing standards and procedures. Conformance to ISO 17025 allows laboratories from different countries to compare their results more easily.

Importance of ISO 17025 in Canada

ISO 17025 in Canada is designed to assist laboratories in maintaining technical competence and producing accurate results. By maintaining ongoing compliance with relevant regulations, ISO 17025 encourages confidence in the laboratory, its data, and the services it delivers. ISO 17025 was created with the intention of fostering trust in laboratory operations. It establishes requirements for laboratories to show that they are capable of delivering accurate results and that they are properly operating. Laboratories that follow the ISO 17025 guidelines will also follow the ISO 9001 guidelines.

The Structure of ISO 17025 in Canada

The ISO 17025 standard is separated into four sections:

  • General Requirements
  • Competency Prerequisites
  • Laboratory Management System
  • Assessment of adherence and continuous conformity monitoring

The ISO 17025 standard is meant to be used in conjunction with other relevant industry standards. ISO 17025 in Canada does not claim to include all of the required standards for laboratory operation. When unique needs are discovered, other standards may need to be considered. ISO 17025 is not designed for use in countries where the laboratory system works independently of other national systems, as this could make its use undesirable. ISO 17025was created with a flexible framework in mind, allowing it to be used in conjunction with other standards.

Requirements for ISO 17025 Accreditation

Prior to obtaining ISO 17025 accreditation by a certification body, your organization must follow these general steps: 

  • Documentation for the management system
  • Document control in the management system
  • Records management
  • Actions to mitigate risks and capitalize on opportunities
  • Improvement
  • Corrective actions
  • Internal audits are conducted on an ongoing basis.
  • Management evaluations

Once your organization completes the above requirements, you may contact a certification body to receive ISO 17025 accreditation. The certification body will evaluate your documentation and conduct external audits. The purpose of these external audits is to determine if your organization has successfully implemented ISO 17025 standards. Once all non-conformities are addressed and resolved, the certification body will issue ISO 17025 accreditation. 

Benefits of ISO 17025 Accreditation

ISO 17025 is an international standard for self-correction and continuous improvement. The following are just some of the many benefits of ISO 17025 in Canada: 

  • It improves the laboratory’s ability to produce reliable test findings.
  • In the event of a conjecture and/or legitimacy issue, it can establish technical competency.
  • The laboratory gets a strong competitive advantage which results in increased market share 
  • The laboratory’s efficiency improves and operational costs decrease.
  • Creating a proactive, risk-based business and quality culture, rather than a reactive one 
  • Increasing customer trust in your products decreases client complaints.

Contact IAS today to learn more about ISO 17025 in Canada, or visit our ISO 17025 in Canada frequently asked questions page!