ISO/IEC 17025 2017

ISO/IEC 17025, the important calibration standard, has just been updated.  It is titled General requirements for the competence of testing and calibration laboratories.  The new 3rd Edition from November 1, 2017 is available now from Document Center Inc.  It is a technical revision of the previous 2nd Edition dated 5/15/2005.  This means that the 2nd Edition is obsolete and replaced by the 3rd.

ISO/IEC 17025 contains the requirements that calibration labs have to meet in order to be ISO/IEC certified.  This is the way that calibration labs demonstrate the ability to provide valid results for their customers.  And it is also used to provide competency assurances for cross-border regulatory compliance in international trade.

As with many of our management standards, ISO/IEC 17025 has undergone a transformation with regards to risk management concerns.  With this risk-based approach comes new requirements and modifications for what were formerly prescriptive ones.  The focus on performance-based requirements is one of the primary changes in this new 3rd Edition.

Another big change in the standard is the new flexibility in a number of areas.  These include processes, procedures, documented information and organizational responsibilities.  Again, this is a reflection of the impact of the new ISO 9001 2015 Edition.  Laboratories will be focused on results and flexibility in achieving the goals of competence, impartiality and consistent operations.

FYI:  The word “laboratory” is now part of the definitions section in Clause 3.

No matter the size of your calibration laboratory, you’ll want this new update.  Be sure to purchase your copy from an authorized distributor like Document Center Inc.  You can order with confidence at our secure web store,  Here is a direct link to the order page for ISO/IEC 17025 for your convenience.

All standards sales come with our “best-in-class” notification service at no additional charge. So Document Center Inc. customers who have purchased previous editions of this standard already have received their email alerts regarding this update. To learn more about the support services we offer to our customers, please contact us.  You can reach us by phone (650-591-7600) and email (  You’ll soon learn why so many companies make us their Standards Experts!

ISO/IEC 17025 Draft for Testing Labs available now

ISO/IEC 17025, General requirements for the competence of testing and calibration laboratories, is one of our most widely-used standards here at Document Center Inc.  It is used to certify that a testing lab is able to correctly perform the various tests and calibrations you use it for.  The last update was the release of the 2nd Edition back in 2005.  Now the standard is being revised and you have a chance to look at the draft.

ISO and IEC release draft standards as part of the “public review” process.  In this case, you have until 3/22 to take a look at the proposed new 3rd Edition and send in your comments.  But you may also want to take a look at the draft to get a good idea where changes will be in the eventual updated publication.

Draft standards like this have the changed areas clearly marked.  For example, in the 2017 draft for ISO/IEC 17025, section 4.1 on impartiality and section 4.2 on confidentiality have been updated.  If there are a series of comments on this, it’s possible that the language could again be changed.  If so, another draft edition will be released in the future.  If not, the language will be adopted as is.

Other areas that are being considered for changes are section 6.2 on personnel, and section 7.9 on complaints.  Section 8.1 on options is also modified.  This is the best time to review the areas where changes will be made.  When the adopted final edition is published, it is likely that there will be no detailed information on where the exact changes are.

If you’d like a copy of the draft edition of the ISO/IEC 17025, please contact us.  We will verify that you understand that it is a draft edition with no legal standing and subject to change.  It’s available in either paper format or for pdf download at a price of $68.00 per copy.  Just get in touch with us by phone (650-591-7600) or email (  If you’d like to initiate the purchase using our webstore (, here is a link to the order page for ISO/IEC DIS 17025 (the number of this draft).

Document Center Inc. has been selling standards since 1982.  We have an extensive catalog of standards available for  you to purchase.  And we have a number of services all geared to support your use of compliance documentation.  Make us your Standards Experts!

ISO/IEC 17025 accredited labs

ISO/IEC 17025, “General requirements for the competence of testing and calibration laboratories,” is the go-to standard for certification of testing labs.  So when you’re learning about standards and how to use them, you may have questions on what the relationship is between testing labs and the ISO/IEC 17025.  There’s a great article in InCompliance magazine this month.  It’s titled “Specifying Accredited Calibration Services: A Review of Electrical Test Equipment.”  And it describes how you use the ISO/IEC 17025 certification to help you find a calibration lab for your product testing.

First of all, use of the ISO/IEC 17025 is one of two primary standards on calibration.  Along with ANSI-Z540.3, the successor for ANSI-Z540.1, it replaces the old MIL-C-45662 (later MIL-STD-45662), “Calibration System Requirements.” These standards are used by test labs the world over to make sure that testing is correct and reproduceable by correct calibration of the equipment used.

The article divides your process in getting an accredited calibration service into two primary activities:  Finding an appropriate lab and issuing the purchase order along with the receipt of the final results.  This is particularly helpful, since many folks don’t realize that accreditation is the way you the customer know that your test lab will provide you with valid results.

Finding the lab boils down to three major concerns.  First, is the lab accreditated by an ILAC signatory accreditation body?  This is your verification that a third-body certification organization has reviewed the processes at the test lab in question and that these meet the requirements of ISO/IEC 17025.  Secondly, you’ll want to confirm that the test lab has the expertise to work with your product.  Part of this is obviously confirmed by the scope of accreditation.  But you may also need to take into account such factors as location, since you may need to have your testers work on your premises rather than at their facility.  Lastly, you’ll want to review the accreditation to confirm that it is current (not expired).  You can do this at the accreditation body’s website in most cases.

Specifying the work by way of a purchase order is your assurance that the work that the lab does will meet your products needs.  Section 4.6.3 of ISO/IEC 17025 describes the technical content you’ll need to include.  And you’ll also want to make sure that you include enough detail to assure that any regulatory or other legal requirements can be fulfilled by the work the test lab does for you.

When you get back your report, check it out to make sure that the calibration certificate contains all the information requested on the PO.  And you may also have labelling requirements to verify as well.

The article then provides you with a sample process for obtaining an accredited calibration for an LPDA antenna.  This is particularly helpful for those of you with electrical equipment that needs to be tested.  You can follow this example when considering how to set up your procedure for certification of your electrical equipment in the future.

Meantime, good testing relies on both strong calibration procedures and using the proper standards for the testing.  When you need standards for these types of purposes, search for and order them on the Document Center Inc. website (  We’ve been working with standards since 1982 and have a detailed catalog of documents for you to choose from.  And should you have questions, our staff is here to help you!  Just reach out to us by phone (650-591-7600) and/or email (  We’re your Standards Experts!