Comparing Laboratory Scope of Accreditation against internal equipment

RCW

Quite Involved in Discussions
#1
Sorry if this is a stupid question but I feel REAL clueless on this one. :confused:

Had an auditor in here this week and he said I really SHOULD be verifying that the calibration laboratory I use is accredited to calibrate the test equipment I send them. I already have a copy of their latest Scope of Accreditation but I am confused on what I should be comparing this against. I'm assuming I need to know what my equipment's capability is and then compare this against the cal lab's scope document? To me this looks difficult especially for items such as an oscilloscope.

Can someone point me in a direction or provide some guidance on how to address this?

Thanks!
 
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Jim Wynne

Leader
Admin
#2
Have a look at the attachment, which is a page from the scope of one of our calibration providers. Because you're using oscilloscopes, I presume that there's someone in your company who's familiar with the technical aspects of their use, and the necessary calibration requirements. It's unlikely that anything you're doing wouldn't be addressed by your calibration provider's scope, but it wouldn't hurt to get authoritative advice.

It could be that your auditor only expected that you would verify that your provider is generally accredited for calibration of oscilloscopes and wasn't concerned about the details, but that's a question for the auditor.
 

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dwperron

Trusted Information Resource
#3
The reason why your auditor said that you should verify that your calibrations are within the laboratory's scope of accreditation is probably because of some less than honorable practices by some "accredited" calibration labs. Customers often have requirements that they use accredited labs for their calibrations. So a few labs went after a very limited scope of accreditation (cheaper and easier) just to be able to claim that they were accredited and get the work. Your auditor is making sure that you are doing your due diligence to verify that your calibration laboratory has demonstrated competence in the areas where you are using them, not just using an accredited lab. That is what ISO 17025 requires.
Incidentally, we have a local competitor who is accredited by A2LA. Their scope of accreditation consists of only micrometer and caliper calibration! No joke (A2LA Certificate # 2714.01). This is the kind of "accredited lab" your auditor is concerned about.
 

Hershal

Metrologist-Auditor
Trusted Information Resource
#4
<snip> Had an auditor in here this week and he said I really SHOULD be verifying that the calibration laboratory I use is accredited to calibrate the test equipment I send them. I already have a copy of their latest Scope of Accreditation but I am confused on what I should be comparing this against. I'm assuming I need to know what my equipment's capability is and then compare this against the cal lab's scope document? To me this looks difficult especially for items such as an oscilloscope. <snip>
The thing for electronic you need to know includes the discipline involved. Typically a scope include time/frequency, modulation, and similar influences.

Your lab should be accredited for these kinds of things. Sometimes the scope will be scope-specific. Generally it is not. Understanding equipment and the discipline(s) involved and what it requires may be the key you need.
 
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