ISO 17025: 2017 has been released and laboratories should be starting to plan their transition to the updated standard. Within ISO 17025: 2015 the accreditation process, amongst other activities, is aimed at ensuring laboratories get a valid result involving its people, their knowledge, laboratory equipment, supplies and processes. The new document has a new modern approach to the quality system. Instead of the traditional quality manual, procedures, policies, etc., we now have references to documented information, processes, decision rules all based on a risk management system, similar to ISO 9001: 2015.
UKAS will be ready to begin the transition of its accredited laboratories to ISO/IEC 17025:2017 from 1st March 2018. However, assessments to the requirements of ISO/IEC 17025:2017 will not be mandatory until 1st January 2019. Therefore, during the period of March to the end of December 2018 laboratories will be given the option of either delaying their transition until the following year or deciding to bring it forward to 2018. It is proposed that the transition assessments be undertaken with the scheduled annual UKAS visits.
ISO 17025 and 17020
R W H Ltd can assist laboratories in guiding them through transition by updating documented information and ensuring they have addressed new requirements for risks and opportunity, impartiality, and established decision rules.
In summary RWH LTD can:-
Manage transition process for existing labs, updating and reviewing the current management system, guiding laboratory through management review and carrying out internal audits leading up to the transition visit.
Guide new laboratories through the accreditation process, producing management system information required by the laboratory to demonstrate compliance with the new Standard.
Liaise with UKAS as required during the accreditation process including the application, pre-assessment and assessment visit by UKAS.
Consultant R W Hawkins works for UKAS as a technical assessor and has recently completed the UKAS tutorial and has been authorised to carry out assessments to ISO17025: 2017 in Team roles defined by UKAS.
The Consultant is very experienced in managing existing testing laboratories and preparing new laboratories for accreditation.