17025 and NIST handbook relationship (need advice)

#1
I'm not even sure how to phrase my question, but...

I'm a relatively new and inexperienced quality manager, and I'm going through our Internal Audit checklists for 17025 for our test lab. I was noticing that some checklists reference the 17025:2017 standard
For example:

4. General Requirements
>4.1 Impartiality
>>4.1.1 Impartiality

>>>Are Lab activities undertaken impartiality and structured and managed to safeguard impartiality?

And some reference NIST 150 2006 Ed. Handbook (National Voluntary Laboratory Accreditation Program Procedures [NVLAP] and Gen Requirements)
For example:

4.13 Control of Records
>4.13.1 General
>>4.13.1.1a

>>>Does the laboratory establish and maintain procedures for identification, collection, indexing, access, filing, storage, maintenance, and disposal of quality and technical records?


I couldn't find anything in our procedures or work instructions that mentions NIST or NVLAP, nor any actual reference on the checklists saying that this was they were pulled from. The only thing I found was the actual NIST 2006 handbook in the personal file of the QM the company had about 2-3 years ago. I only figured this out because I'm very good at googling (I'm the kind of person that needs to know how things work before doing something about it) and the people working here looked as confused as I felt when I mentioned this.
I'm trying to figure out his thought process for doing this; I'm not sure what to do with this information. I can see how they're related, but to use things almost word for word from this second document and not mentioning that anywhere puzzles me.


My Questions:

Should I change things?
Is it necessary to base things off the NIST handbook or is it overboard/ outdated?
Is there a better reference I can use for formatting our internal audit checklists?
Should I even worry about this?


Thanks Cove!
 
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#2
Hello Whiskey,

It seems counter productive to wonder if we should change how we do things out of concern that the NIST 150 2006 Ed. Handbook seems out of date. The clause you listed does not seem out of date at all. Let's keep in mind that 17025:2017 is generally for organizations that provide calibration services. Who could argue with establishing and maintaining procedures for identification, collection, indexing, access, filing, storage, maintenance, and disposal of quality and technical records? Notice there is not mention of documented procedure(s).

Similarly, impartiality is a common sense attribute in auditors. What good-sense QMS would not want its auditors to be free to call things as they see them?

I hope this helps!
 

dwperron

Trusted Information Resource
#3
I'm not even sure how to phrase my question, but...

I'm a relatively new and inexperienced quality manager, and I'm going through our Internal Audit checklists for 17025 for our test lab. I was noticing that some checklists reference the 17025:2017 standard
For example:

4. General Requirements
>4.1 Impartiality
>>4.1.1 Impartiality

>>>Are Lab activities undertaken impartiality and structured and managed to safeguard impartiality?

And some reference NIST 150 2006 Ed. Handbook (National Voluntary Laboratory Accreditation Program Procedures [NVLAP] and Gen Requirements)
For example:

4.13 Control of Records
>4.13.1 General
>>4.13.1.1a

>>>Does the laboratory establish and maintain procedures for identification, collection, indexing, access, filing, storage, maintenance, and disposal of quality and technical records?


I couldn't find anything in our procedures or work instructions that mentions NIST or NVLAP, nor any actual reference on the checklists saying that this was they were pulled from. The only thing I found was the actual NIST 2006 handbook in the personal file of the QM the company had about 2-3 years ago. I only figured this out because I'm very good at googling (I'm the kind of person that needs to know how things work before doing something about it) and the people working here looked as confused as I felt when I mentioned this.
I'm trying to figure out his thought process for doing this; I'm not sure what to do with this information. I can see how they're related, but to use things almost word for word from this second document and not mentioning that anywhere puzzles me.


My Questions:

Should I change things?
Is it necessary to base things off the NIST handbook or is it overboard/ outdated?
Is there a better reference I can use for formatting our internal audit checklists?
Should I even worry about this?


Thanks Cove!
ISO 17025 is an international standard, and does not fall under NIST.
NVLAP is an accreditation body. They do assessments for accreditation of organizations to ISO 17025. They do not write the standard, they audit compliance to the standard.

Interpretation of ISO 17025 is done by ILAC, the International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation. You can find then at www.ilac.org.
They have a number of publications available concerning interpretation of ISO 17025.

It appears that your organization is accredited to ISO 17025 by NVLAP. You should reach out to them with your questions, as they will give you guidance based on their interpretation of the standard.

You can also download the most recent copy of NIST Handbook 150:

NVLAP Handbooks and Lab Bulletins
 
#4
ISO 17025 is an international standard, and does not fall under NIST.
NVLAP is an accreditation body. They do assessments for accreditation of organizations to ISO 17025. They do not write the standard, they audit compliance to the standard.

Interpretation of ISO 17025 is done by ILAC, the International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation. You can find then at www.ilac.org.
They have a number of publications available concerning interpretation of ISO 17025.

It appears that your organization is accredited to ISO 17025 by NVLAP. You should reach out to them with your questions, as they will give you guidance based on their interpretation of the standard.

You can also download the most recent copy of NIST Handbook 150:

NVLAP Handbooks and Lab Bulletins
Oh, I see, so that's what NIST and NVLAP do.

We're actually not accredited by NVLAP, which is why I was confused to see it referenced in our document (section numbers only, there's no place in our system that actually straight-out mentions NIST/NVLAP. I had to figure out where the section numbers came from because they didn't line up with the 17025 manual).
 
#5
as quality manager you decide what goes into your checklist to try to meet the requirements of the governing standards and the quality goals. if the previous qm though nist gave a good checklist that satisfies the requirements then that would be their prerogative. there are code councils tat publish internal audit checklists for any lab to use for various test methods also. having said that, it would be helpful if people reference the documents they are plagiarizing....
 

dwperron

Trusted Information Resource
#6
Oh, I see, so that's what NIST and NVLAP do.

We're actually not accredited by NVLAP, which is why I was confused to see it referenced in our document (section numbers only, there's no place in our system that actually straight-out mentions NIST/NVLAP. I had to figure out where the section numbers came from because they didn't line up with the 17025 manual).

Out of curiosity, who are you accredited through for 17025, and is it for calibration or testing?
 

dwperron

Trusted Information Resource
#8
Our cert says ANAB, and it's for testing
That got me to do a little more digging, and I learned something, so today's a good day!

The NIST Handbook 150:2006 is based on ISO 17025:2005. Actually, it is a word for word copy of 17025:2005.

If you are looking to update your 17025 checklist you need to do it for 17025:2017, and since you are not accredited through NVLAP I would avoid using references to their handbook, keep everything referenced tp 17025:2017.
 
#9
That got me to do a little more digging, and I learned something, so today's a good day!

The NIST Handbook 150:2006 is based on ISO 17025:2005. Actually, it is a word for word copy of 17025:2005.

If you are looking to update your 17025 checklist you need to do it for 17025:2017, and since you are not accredited through NVLAP I would avoid using references to their handbook, keep everything referenced tp 17025:2017.
Thanks for digging into that!
I don't like changing things without having something to back up my reasoning, so I'll definitely use this information when I present my updates to the big boss.
 
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