Quality Magazine - August 21, 2015
The decision to pursue and successfully complete ISO/IEC 17025 accreditation should not be made lightly and not without full clarity of support required from management.
To ensure success, the quality department must do some initial groundwork to make sure that the quality department and management have a complete, accurate picture of the current state of the quality management systems. Quality and management must also recognize the extent of change required to convert the existing quality processes and procedures into a system that will pass the assessment process. This is particularly important if the lab has been in business for many years with employees who have become well-established in their ways of working.
Staff will likely have concerns related to changes in historical ways of working.
McCrone Associates, Inc., a laboratory specializing in investigational materials analysis, set a goal of ISO 17025 accreditation, and in August 2012 it began the process of revising the existing quality management system to meet the expectation of the ISO guideline. The decision to pursue ISO accreditation was made, after serious consideration, when McCrone’s largest client made the request as part of their supplier improvement program. The journey to accreditation was planned out as a project with established milestones. Quality and management met monthly to review the plan and discuss progress, challenges and decisions that were needed. Ultimately, McCrone Associates was able to schedule the initial assessment in June 2014 as planned, and was accredited shortly thereafter. This success was largely due to the detailed project plan and support from McCrone management staff.