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What Makes for a Good Testing Lab?

Posted In Technology Reviews - By Techtiplib on Monday, April 21st, 2014 With No Comments »

If you are a lab manager, you have probably wondered, at least at one point or another, whether or not it would be a good idea to get ISO/IEC 17025. While it is both a financial and time investment, most people would agree that the ends do justify the means. Most laboratories, whether they’re free-standing or part of a larger company, would say that the cost of the investment was far less than the revenue and savings the standard brought in.

For those who are unsure what ISO/IEC 17025 accreditation means, it is essentially the main standard used by testing and calibration laboratories. It was first issued in 1999 by the ISO to bring the highest standards and competency into laboratories. The standard calls for sound practices and the ability to provide the most qualified results. Accreditation is offered by third-party review, and the process can be extremely grueling to ensure the best. Typically, it’s for this reason that lab technicians and lab managers go through ISO 17025 training.

For those who are unsure what ISO/IEC 17025 accreditation means, it is essentially the main standard used by testing and calibration laboratories.

However, is it worth it? Most do think so. Here are some benefits to becoming ISO/IEC 17025 certified:

You will earn more business: If you’re a free standing laboratory, you know how important it is to acquire customers. Businesses and other organizations are always in need of a laboratory to do testing and analysis on products to ensure they’re safe to enter the marketplace. However, many of them also require ISO/IEC 17025 accreditation from any laboratory they do business with to ensure they are getting the most accurate results. Many won’t even look at labs that don’t have this accreditation. Because reviews are conducted yearly, up to date accreditation will show any business or organization that you continue to provide the best standards and most accurate results.

You will earn international recognition: Those who get ISO/IEC 17025 accreditation are recognized by the international community of laboratories as one of the best. This respect could earn a laboratory new funding and the opportunity to attract the best researchers when necessary.

You will do better work: As a laboratory, this is probably the most important benefit of ISO/IEC 17025. You will have full confidence in your operations and better control of results. You will learn how to be more efficient as well, which could mean a reduction in operating costs. You will be able to save both time and money wasted as you won’t have to conduct retesting as much or ever.

It’s for these reasons and more that you should consider looking into ISO/IEC 17025 accreditation. Your lab will not only produce better work and become more respected; it will have a great marketing tool to attract new businesses and organizations that only want the best. There is training out there for lab managers and technicians as well as a variety of guides to help you get started. Although the cost and time to get accredited might seem a lot in the beginning, it’s generally agreed that the benefits from accreditation more than make up for the sacrifices. 

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