Fundamentally, ISO17025 is a quality system (like ISO9001) which is also structured to ensure the standard quality of a product or service business. ISO17025 differs in that it is specific for the testing and calibration activities of laboratories, requiring that the calibration of equipment has adequate control and calibration traceability. This is accomplished by defining a scope of accreditation (parameters that will be audited and verified), developing standard & validated procedures for the calibration of those parameters, maintaining competent staff, calculating calibration process uncertainties, and verification of performance proficiency.
The definition of calibration uncertainties is unique to ISO17025 and is fundamental to complete understanding, operation and report documentation of calibration. It is through the scope of accreditation and the provided uncertainties that educated customers can verify that a provider has the capability to perform the requested calibration and has a sufficiently low uncertainty to provide the proper calibration.
Proof of proficiency is also unique to ISO17025 and is something that all labs are required to perform. Proficiency testing or round robin testing is when the same test sensor is calibrated by multiple organizations. Each organization provides calibration data and uncertainties so that the results may be compared. Through this comparison, laboratories can analyze their measurement and calibration process and make improvements to the system.
As a leading provider of calibration weights, Central Illinois Scale Company has been accredited since 1999 (known as Guide 25 back then), showing our commitment to providing not just a quality management system, but a quality calibration process well before most of our competitors.