There was nothing on TV tonight except a program showcasing very cute and sometimes thought provoking commercials, obviously sponsored by the NFL, since they had a game going on between the commercials that you could sort of watch, unless you had to go to the bathroom, or the snack table before the commercials came back on. Anyway, I was surfing the web looking for deals and information on flow devices when I noticed how many flow service companies state they are ISO 17025 or some other number, compliant. A very few state they are ISO accredited, Coastal Instruments being one of those. What is the difference?
A company that claims to be ISO compliant is saying that they know what the number is, they might have a copy of the regulations, and they are sure they are doing everything by the book, or at least everything that was easy to do, because, well…… because they said so.
A company that is ISO accredited will ALWAYS list an accreditation certificate number, and usually the name of the approved accreditation company they used to certify their compliance to the specifications. These independent companies are certified to perform ISO accreditation audits that require a knowledgeable auditor(s) to spend several days on site verifying compliance to EVERY line item in the respective regulation and continuing follow up audits on a regular basis, by a different auditor each time. This is a very easy thing to check. Go to the web site of the accreditation company and see if the certificate is listed. If it is, they are, if it is not, they are not. This certificate will also state the specific parameters, range of values, the uncertainty of the measurement error, technology, or products that are included in the accreditation. Some companies use their accreditation for one parameter to infer they are accredited for others. If their certificate says they are accredited for pressure or voltage, etc. over a specific range of values, then that is all they are accredited to do. They may do any other service as they like, but it will not be under the accreditation to the ISO specification.
The overwhelming majority of the effort, and cost, to meet the requirements of an ISO regulation is the work required to develop, document, and implement the procedures prior to any attempt to become accredited.. If a company is truly ISO compliant, meaning they have all those systems in place, would it not make sense that they would expend the relatively small incremental effort and expense to gain accreditation?
Coastal Instruments, Inc. is accredited by the American Association of Laboratory Accreditation to ISO/IEC 17025:2005 & ANSI/NCSL Z540-1-1994, Certificate Number: 2235.01. Check it out yourself at http://www.a2la.org/scopepdf/2235-01.pdf. We are very proud of the effort it took to earn and maintain that certificate, and for the assurance of quality that it gives our customers.
Bottom line, if a company makes claims that they are compliant with an ISO regulation without offering any accreditation, they are most likely NOT. What else are they NOT doing to assure the quality of your product?
I think the commercial special is over now, I wonder if Swamp People is on?