An updated International Organization for Standardization (ISO) standard, namely ISO/IEC 17025: 2017, will soon be introduced to bunker fuel quality testing labs in Singapore and beyond, says Marcus Lim, Senior Consultant at standards and accreditation advisory company SoftJade.
‘This revised ISO/IEC 17025: 2017 is widely expected to be published in late 2017 and the Singapore Accreditation Council (SAC) has officially announced on 11 October, 2017 that a three-year transition timeline will be given to transit from the old ISO/IEC 17025: 2005 standard to ISO/IEC 17025: 2017,’ he tells Manifold Times.
‘The SAC mandate will apply to all SAC accredited testing laboratories including Singapore-based bunker fuel quality testing laboratories. The timeline for other international fuel testing labs will be subjected to their respective accreditation councils.’
According to Lim, one of the main differences between ISO/IEC 17025: 2005 and ISO/IEC 17025: 2017 is the introduction of a risk-based thinking approach.
This approach essentially requires laboratories to identify key risks to their processes and personnel; if this is not handled correctly, it will have implications on the competence and impartiality of the laboratories and ultimately the accreditation status of the laboratory.
‘ISO/IEC 17025: 2005 specifies the general requirements for the competence to carry out tests and/or calibrations, including sampling. It covers testing and calibration performed using standard methods, non-standard methods, and laboratory-developed methods,’ states the official website of ISO.
‘It is applicable to all organizations performing tests and/or calibrations. These include, for example, first-, second- and third-party laboratories, and laboratories where testing and/or calibration forms part of inspection and product certification.’
ISO/IEC 17025 is believed to be the single most important standard for calibration and testing laboratories around the world. The standard was first issued by ISO and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) in 1999.
SoftJade is a Singapore-based standards and accreditation advisory company that helps enterprises in various sectors meet ISO 9001, ISO 14001, ISO 18001, ISO/IEC 17020 and ISO/IEC 17025 standards.
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