Implications of ISO/TEC 17025 (Requirements
for the competence of calibration laboratories)
This document essentially overlaps
and complements the requirements of ISO 3000/1. The main thing is to set
up a "Quality Manual" which sets out procedures, standards and responsibilities
for the various essential functions of the business such as documentation
and methods etc. This manual is to be the "prime" living document its contents
will be carefully documented and all changes carefully logged. Changes
will be necessary to fulfil what is probably the most important aspect
of ISO 3000/1, which is the implementation of continuos improvement. In
my case setting up the "Quality Manual" will be derived from the "day-to-day"
notes kept in my diary and will probably contain many "process" flowcharts.
More specifically in calibration work
documentation means procedures which are usually derived from manufacturers
tolerances as given in handbooks and catalogues. Records are in the form
of calibration checklists. ISO/Tech 75025 contains references to traceably
and periodic auditing of work carried out. Procedures could be changed
through "Problem Referrals" at the authors last place of work through the
Metrology Centre in the USA. In dealing with the customer the standard
states that all requirements should ascertained before starting the work
and that there should be good communications so that extra requirements
and complaints can be dealt with. The laboratory capabilities and test
methods should be sufficient to complete the work. Documentation should
record the extent of the contract.
Sub-contracting of work can only be to another laboratory
complying with this standard.
Obtaining UKAS 75025 certification for each parameter is expensive
so on the way to this goal it has been decided to be as "open" as
possible. The customer will be furnished with a measurement "checklist"
which gives the maximum information. Most calbration labs retain the "checklist"
and only give the measured values on a certificate if specifically
asked for them.