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ISO 17025 is the global standard for the technical competence of calibration and testing laboratories. In addition to establishing quality system, documentation and personnel requirements, it directs calibration laboratories to:

  • Analyse the uncertainty of each measurement
  • Incorporate the uncertainty into the test procedure and/or test limits
  • Provide the uncertainties with the calibration certificate and results

Reporting the uncertainty qualifies the accuracy of the measurement and aids understanding when results from different laboratories are compared.

ISO 17025 is the single most important metrology standard for test and measurement products. Nearly all national standards bodies and accreditation agencies around the world have adopted it. A growing number of companies require it and some industries have even incorporated it into sector-specific standards.

The standard is operated in the UK directly by UKAS, not the independent certification bodies, therefore organisations are ‘accredited’ to ISO 17025. Accreditation is a term applied to organisations that supply a certification, test, inspection or calibration service.

UKAS is a member of the National Measurement Partnership (NMP), a programme initiated by BERR’s National Measurement System Policy Unit. The programme aims to develop a number of processes and an organisational infrastructure for the National Measurement Partnership, with the following specific objectives:

  • Increase the uptake of accredited measurement in the UK
  • Increase the qualified skill base in metrology
  • Increase measurement users' access to measurement experts