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Accreditation is a rigorous certification process that ensures compliance with applicable standards. It enforces traceability and consistency across an entire calibration process. Accreditation is all about the capability and competence of a calibration process, as confirmed by an accreditation body. In the language of standards and metrology, the terms "competent" and "competence" denote the verified ability to carry out calibration procedures in compliance with applicable standards.
An accredited laboratory that performs ISO 17025 calibrations, for example, will have proven facilities and equipment and competent personnel—specific individuals empowered to do the ISO 17025 calibrations. Traceability is a requirement in accreditation.
- Every accredited lab has a "scope of measurements," documented on its accreditation certificate, defining the types of measurements the lab is certified for: DC voltage, resistance, etc.
- ISO 17025 accreditation requires review and approval of every single measurement step in the calibration procedure—sometimes thousands of measurements.
- Procedures submitted for accreditation by third-party calibration vendors may not be the same as those recommended by the instrument manufacturer.