Brief Description

The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) is a standards-setting organization, which includes representatives from several national standards organizations. It grants permits for international commercial and industrial standards.

The organization is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland.

Although ISO defines itself as a non-governmental organization, its ability to set standards that are usually converted into laws (either through treaties or national standards) makes it more powerful than most NGOs. The ISO practically constitutes an alliance with strong links with governments. The organization includes about 163 members of the international standards body. The International Organization for Standardization has so far issued 22,919 documents in agriculture, construction, mechanical engineering and in many areas.

What is specific to the laboratory is ISO17025, it is specifying the requirements and specifications for laboratories and their measurement, analysis and calibration, which are adopted by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the International Committee for Electrical Technology (IEC). It was previously known as (ISO GUIDE 25), but what is applied now is (ISO/IEC 17025) which is issued in 1999. For information, the requirements of ISO 9001 are included in this ISO17025, but not limited with that, it extended to add a technical dimension by containing the requirements Technical to demonstrate the efficiency of measurement and calibration laboratories. An amendment was made to this specification in 2005, where there was an agreement that this specification should be compatible with the then new version of ISO 9001:2000. This specification was first issued in 2001 and in 2005 the revised version was issued by the relevant committee. Among the most important amendments was the great emphasis on the responsibility of the senior management and the requirement of the importance of continuous improvement of the management system, especially with regard to communication with customers.

The specification contains two sets of requirements, administrative and technical. The administrative requirements relate to the quality of the “management system.” As for the technical ones, they relate to the efficiency of the analysis staff, the methods of analysis, the devices used, the methods of quality control of analyzes and the issuance of reports, and others.

Since these specifications are related to proving competence, accreditation is simply an acknowledgment by a neutral party of the competence and qualifications of the laboratory. There is a prerequisite for obtaining the accreditation, which is the “documentation of the system”, that is, its writing in the document that the specification calls the “quality file”. This document contains the laboratory's policies and procedures for how to comply with the requirements of this standard.

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