Pros and Cons of continued ISO 17025 accreditation

W

WisdomseekerSC

#1
We are a company that holds registrations to ISO 9001, ISO 13485 and AS9100. Our subsidiary laboratory is ISO 17025. We are considering ceasing operations as a commercial lab :( and reverting back to an in-house support lab for R&D and specialty QC testing. Due to budgetary considerations we need to trim personnel and costs that are not deemed essential. Should we drop the ISO 17025? What are the pros and cons of maintaining this certification? What are the true costs of such a program?
 
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#2
We are a company that holds registrations to ISO 9001, ISO 13485 and AS9100. Our subsidiary laboratory is ISO 17025. We are considering ceasing operations as a commercial lab :( and reverting back to an in-house support lab for R&D and specialty QC testing. Due to budgetary considerations we need to trim personnel and costs that are not deemed essential. Should we drop the ISO 17025? What are the pros and cons of maintaining this certification? What are the true costs of such a program?
I'm guessing you mean drop the lab accreditation? Stop the contract with the external lab accreditation service, like A2LA, ACLASS, or whomever you're using. If there's no commercial need to show customers your lab is accredited, then it would be a cost savings. You can still function in compliance with ISO/IEC 17025, maintaining it internally, you'd probably find it necessary for valid results.
 
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K

Kevin H

#3
At one time, I managed a mechanical testing lab certified to ISO Guide 25, I left the organization just as we were ready to upgrade the certification to ISO 17025. (I'd done all the upgrade work, and left for career reasons.) Our calculations estimated that certification to ISO Guide 25 cost the lab an average of $10,000 annually. The annual lab budget was $1,300,000 when I left so additional costs were less than 1% of the budget. This was around 2000, so costs may have increased. We believed that the outside look at the lab improved our overall operations and lab accuracy.

It also reduced the number of questions we had from customers regarding the results we reported to them, and minimized the time we spent with outside customer auditors. The parent company was a steel company supplying automotive and aircraft customers. Overall, we felt that the costs were justified.
 
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Hershal

Metrologist-Auditor
Staff member
Super Moderator
#4
There could be internal benefits to accreditation as well. Note, ISO/IEC 17025:2005 is not a certification, it is an accreditation.

Its internal benefit really comes down to visibility. An accredited lab provides a visibility that a non-accredited lab does NOT have, including evidence that the folks actually know what they are doing because they have to prove it. That BTW is what accreditation brings to the table that registration does not.

That can also have benefits to your external customers, even if they do not use your lab, as they can have confidence in the results, with fewer if any audits of your facility.

I am aware of many internal labs of various kinds that are accredited. They have their own reasons, but the two I just gave are fairly consistent across the benefits I hear about.
 
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H

HokieJill

#5
I believe a growing number of industries are incorporating ISO 17025 into their sector specific standards (for ex: automobile manufacturers). Just something to consider if you are in a business effected by these changing standards.
 
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R

Richard Pike

#7
We are a company that holds registrations to ISO 9001, ISO 13485 and AS9100. Our subsidiary laboratory is ISO 17025. We are considering ceasing operations as a commercial lab :( and reverting back to an in-house support lab for R&D and specialty QC testing. Due to budgetary considerations we need to trim personnel and costs that are not deemed essential. Should we drop the ISO 17025? What are the pros and cons of maintaining this certification? What are the true costs of such a program?

Budgets -- always a problem and normally Quality Related Issues are the first to be looked at.

You should consider two aspects.


1. What functions of the Laboratory can you drop and what will be the cost saving.
2. Will any of those functions affect your ability to remain Accredited?

If -yes - then it will probably be cost effective to
drop the Accreditation.

If - no - what "paperwork" is required to maintain
Accreditation that is not required for day to day
functions.

What is the real and man hour cost of any additional "paperwork"
 
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