Should companies that perform calibration services be ISO 17025 accredited?

E

Eloy Gomez

#1
Should companies that perform calibration services be ISO 17025 accredited? Are they required to be? We are an aerospace manufacturer with AS9100 and ISO9001 accreditation requirements. I just found out that our calibration house is not accredited to any calibration standard. We discover this during an internal audit. We have canceled their services. Now we are wondering if everything is questionable and we may have to do an impact to product assessment. Thanks in advance for your comments and suggestions.
 
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T

t.PoN

#2
Unless your accreditation body has a policy in this regards then: Not necessary.

HOWEVER, you need to make sure your supplier is competent and traceable, this can be achieved through many ways such as:
1. National lab (not necessary from your own country) and is CMC listed.
2. Accredited lab to the scope of your request. I do recommend it because it saves time and effort
3. You or your representative audit the calibration lab and their procedure.
4. your own documented criteria of evaluating competency such as their last participation on PT for the scope of services you requested.


I hope it help
 
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Big Jim

Trusted Information Resource
#3
The short answer is that there is no such requirement for either ISO 9001 or AS9100. I understand that this is a requirement for TS16949 (automotive), but I don't work with that standard so someone else will need to verify it.

Occasionally, you may have a customer that requires it, but it is somewhat unusual.

If they have been doing a good job and their calibration standards are traceable to NIST or other national or international standards, you may have cut off a good supplier for no good reason.
 

John Broomfield

Staff member
Super Moderator
#4
Should companies that perform calibration services be ISO 17025 accredited? Are they required to be? We are an aerospace manufacturer with AS9100 and ISO9001 accreditation requirements. I just found out that our calibration house is not accredited to any calibration standard. We discover this during an internal audit. We have canceled their services. Now we are wondering if everything is questionable and we may have to do an impact to product assessment. Thanks in advance for your comments and suggestions.
Eloy,

Yes they should but it is not yet generally required.

What requirement did your internal auditor cite in order for you to cancel their services? Was it your own management requirement or did your internal auditor invent a requirement?

Did your auditor consider that invalid measurements may come from the measurement processes instead of just the devices used? Was there evidence of the devices drifting out of calibration?

Now that you are into corrective action are you considering measurement system analysis (MSA) and internal verifications combined with external accredited calibrations of measurement equipment?

John
 
#6
The thing about accreditation of a calibration service provider is that they report the results with a precise degree of accuracy - the uncertainty. You may also have been getting similar results from the lab you were using, but they are simply not accredited. Do you know what the situation is? Do you actually USE the results of calibration and the reported uncertainty? Or is simply a status? If you simply rely on the items of equipment being calibrated, then the lab you were using is probably fine. When (or if) you get into debate with a customer about fine tolerance measurements, you may need the accredited lab to do the calibrations...
 
S

silentrunning

#7
If I were to use a Calibration Lab that wasn't accredited I would certainly do a very thorough audit of their processes. The legal ramifications of not doing due diligence would keep me awake at night. I realize that accreditation alone doesn?t ensure compliance, but if a problem arises you will not be facing it alone.
 
R

Reg Morrison

#8
Should companies that perform calibration services be ISO 17025 accredited? We have canceled their services.
Have you cancelled the contracts with your suppliers that don't have an ISO 9001, AS9100 or another QMS certification?

An ISO 17025 accreditation should give you more confidence on the lab's work, however, as already stated, there are no guarantees. Be prepared to pay higher fees for the services of an 17025 accredited lab. Hopefully your customers will be willing to pay more for your parts, as well.
 

qusys

Trusted Information Resource
#9
Should companies that perform calibration services be ISO 17025 accredited? Are they required to be? We are an aerospace manufacturer with AS9100 and ISO9001 accreditation requirements. I just found out that our calibration house is not accredited to any calibration standard. We discover this during an internal audit. We have canceled their services. Now we are wondering if everything is questionable and we may have to do an impact to product assessment. Thanks in advance for your comments and suggestions.
A suggestion that I would like to share is also the one to re-evaluate your purchasing process.In fact it seems very strange that no clear requirements ( such as accredidation o certifications type) is in place for the approval of this calibration supplier.
 

Michael_M

Trusted Information Resource
#10
Have you cancelled the contracts with your suppliers that don't have an ISO 9001, AS9100 or another QMS certification?

An ISO 17025 accreditation should give you more confidence on the lab's work, however, as already stated, there are no guarantees. Be prepared to pay higher fees for the services of an 17025 accredited lab. Hopefully your customers will be willing to pay more for your parts, as well.
We were using a non-ISO 17025 lab for calibration however after a few issues with time (2 months to perform) I started looking around. I found an ISO 17025 accreditation lab AND they were about 1/2 the price. Not only that, but I get the gages calibrated within a 3 week time (takes about 5 days to travel there and 5 to get back). Furthermore, they communicate with me when issues arise.

Now, all this may be that I was using a bad lab to begin with (grandfathered in when I took this position) and this has tainted my view but having the accredited lab gives me that extra sense of security (and saves me money too).
 
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