The official document is titled ISO/IEC 17025: 2017, General requirements for the competence of testing and calibration laboratories. It is the international reference for laboratories performing calibration and testing activities. The standard also includes many of the requirements and terminology utilized in ISO9001: 2015.

ISO/IEC 17025:2017 was developed jointly by ISO and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) under the responsibility of the ISO Committee on conformity assessment (CASCO).

The focus of the requirements is to produce valid results. ISO/IEC 17025:2017 provides the ability for laboratories to implement a quality management system and to demonstrate that they are technically competent to produce valid and reliable results.

The standard also helps facilitate cooperation between laboratories and other bodies by generating wider acceptance of results. Test reports and certificates can be accepted from one country to another without the need for further testing, which, in turn, improves international trade.

The 2017 revision does provide changes from previous versions:

  • The scope includes testing, calibration and sampling associated with subsequent calibration and testing.
  • The process approach is now incorporated within the requirements as it is used in ISO 9001: 2015,
  • Provides a focus on information technologies that incorporates the use of computer systems, electronic records and the generation of electronic results and reports.
  • Incorporates Risk-based thinking within the requirements.