Two workshops have been organized by the EA Laboratory Committee, hosted by COFRAC, the French NAB, to highlight and share a common understanding of the changed requirements in the newest version of ISO/IEC 17025.

ISO/IEC 17025, the standard for calibration and testing laboratories, published on 30th November 2017, enables laboratories to demonstrate that they operate competently and generate valid results, thereby promoting confidence in their work both nationally and internationally. Used for accreditation purposes, it facilitates cooperation between laboratories and other bodies by generating wider acceptance of results between countries, avoiding the need for further testing.

This transition harmonization training course, designed by the EA Laboratory Committee and based on needs expressed by the EA Members during previous discussions in the LC, was facilitated by Dr. Ursula Ellerbeck, Head of Department, DAKKS, the German NAB, and Trevor Thompson, Head of Operations Support, UKAS, the British NAB, & EA Laboratory Committee Vice-Chair – Member of ISO/CASCO WG44 and coordinated by Laurent Vinson, Head of Laboratory Department – COFRAC and EA Laboratory Committee Chair.

The training was aimed to assist accreditation body staff in getting prepared for assessing laboratories in a harmonized way within the EA region. Underlying concepts have been discussed, with the goal of enabling participants to have a better understanding of the recent changes. Our colleagues Dana Leaman from NVLAP (National Voluntary Laboratory Accreditation Program), IAAC (InterAmerican Accreditation Cooperation) MLA signatory, Moslem Barrack from ARAC (Arab Accreditation) and Olga Eroshina from AAC Analitica, member of APLAC (Asian Pacific Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation) attended the workshop. In the same way, the LC had appointed our colleague Pavel Nosek from CAI, the Czech NAB, to be the EA representative in the APLAC workshop on ISO/IEC 17025 in a move to share knowledge and discussions at an international level.

“It was most worthwhile to discuss the concerns and interests of the varied selection of European and other Accreditation professionals as we endeavor to ensure harmonization as much as possible in the approach used in the different economies. This should provide for the best interest of our international stakeholders and the large internationally owned laboratory groups. Several attendees requested a further workshop after one year into the transition so that the efficacy of the harmonization may be further considered. We also want to thank the COFRAC and EA Secretariat for the support in the organization of this workshop “ declared jointly Dr. Ursula Ellerbeck and Trevor Thompson as a conclusion of these workshops.