ISO 17025 is the main standard used by testing and calibration laboratories.

There are many commonalities with the ISO 9000 (9001, 9002) standard, but ISO 17025 adds the concept of competence to the equation and it applies directly to those organizations that produce testing and calibration results. Updates to ISO 17025 have introduced greater emphasis on the responsibilities of senior management, and explicit requirements for continual improvement of the management system itself, and particularly, communication with the customer. Laboratories use ISO 17025 to implement a quality system aimed at improving their ability to consistently produce valid results. Since the standard is about competence, accreditation is simply a formal recognition of a demonstration of that competence. A prerequisite for a laboratory to become accredited is to have a documented quality management system. Regular internal audits are expected to indicate opportunities to make the test or calibration better than it was. The laboratory is also expected to keep abreast of scientific and technological advances in relevant areas.

There are two main sections in ISO/IEC 17025 – Management Requirements and Technical Requirements. Management requirements are primarily related to the operation and effectiveness of the quality management system within the laboratory. Technical requirements address the competence of staff, methodology, test/calibration equipment and the test methods. Full validation of test methods and proof of proficiency set this standard apart from ISO 9001 or 9002.

In 1998 Actlabs was one of the first labs in North America to attain this accreditation. We also have the largest scope of accreditation in the minerals industry. View our ISO/IEC certificates and Scope of Accreditation .

CAN-P-1579 – Requirements for the accreditation of mineral analysis testing laboratories

CAN-P-1579 is issued by the Standards Council of Canada to mineral analysis testing laboratories who have met minimum quality and reliability standards as well as demonstrated uniform level of proficiency.

Mineral analysis testing includes all media used in mining exploration and processing including, but not limited to, sediments, rocks, ores, metal products, tailings, other mineral samples, water and vegetation.

CAN-P-1579 is designed to complement ISO/IEC 17025:2005. Accreditation by SCC requires an on-site assessment of the laboratory to demonstrate competence and conformance with the requirements of ISO/IEC 17025:2005 as well as prior and continued participation and satisfactory performance in the proficiency testing scheme for each test accredited.