For example, if you sent your instrument to Transcat in October 2020 for an Accredited Calibration with Before/After Data, you would have received the instrument back with the completed calibration certificate, which looked something like this:
If you send the same instrument back in April 2021, you will receive a certificate that looks something like this:
You immediately notice that the logos in the upper right-hand corner of the certificate are missing. So where did they go?
There are new requirements for ISO 17025 accreditation as well as NIST’s definition of measurement traceability, both of which require measurement uncertainties to be included in calibration reports. The world is finally realizing that reported results carry some amount of variability and, therefore, reporting a value without its uncertainty is an incomplete statement as to its true value.
This means that calibration reports that do not include measurement uncertainties are no longer allowed under ISO 17025 accreditation and, therefore, the logos must be removed. Prior to the mandated change (ISO 17025:2017 and also reinforced under ILAC P14:09/2020), Transcat offered three accredited service levels: Calibration Certificate only, Cal Certificate with Before/After Data, and Cal Cert with Before/After Data plus Uncertainties. The deadline to be compliant with the new changes is (was) 3/31/2021. After that date, the first two accredited service levels become non-accredited; only the latter service level which includes uncertainties can continue to be accredited. So, the accredited calibration you received previously (Cal Certificate with Before/After Data) allowed us to place the accreditation logos on the certificate. But after 3/31/2021, that is no longer allowed. If one of our Sales professionals has not already reached out to you to discuss this then… we need to talk.
The calibration process and results you see on your certificate have not changed. We follow the same processes we have in the past, the only difference now is the accreditation logo needed to be removed per these new requirements. Your calibration is still being performed to the same specifications by our accredited labs.
If you require your calibration to be upgraded to an Accredited Calibration with Uncertainties, we have added three new service levels to our accredited calibration offering. They are: Cal Cert with Before/After Data plus Uncertainties and Guard Banding, Cal Cert with Before/After Data plus Uncertainties and PCS*, Cal Cert with Before/After Data plus Uncertainties and Guard Banding + PCS*. Please visit the Accreditation Resource Page or ask our Sales professionals for details about these accredited service levels.
ISO 17025 accredited calibrations serve a useful purpose in minimizing measurement risk and removing Quality Blind Spots in your quality system. Instruments are used in manufacturing processes to make decisions on whether the product meets its design requirements. No one wants a product manufacturer to believe their product is good and release it to their customers when it was incorrectly accepted and was actually bad (i.e., did not meet its design specs). That scenario is the definition of False Acceptance. The Metrology industry was created to keep those instruments aligned so that the measurements they provide for decisions on product acceptance remain accurate and reliable.
These new ISO 17025 accreditation requirements stem from an evolution in Metrology. It is part of a continuous improvement process designed to further protect products for consumers – which is why Probability of False Accept (PFA) is called Consumer Risk. The target is zero (0) Consumer Risk so that products are safe and do not cause injuries or fatalities. Eliminating or minimizing Consumer Risk on products manufactured by many industries (Aerospace, Automotive, Pharmaceutical, Medical Devices, Food and Beverage, etc.) is the end goal – which should be important to everyone. This is one small step closer to that goal for manufacturers… one giant leap for mankind!
Should you have further questions, please do not hesitate to contact us, or reach out to one of our calibration specialists at 800-828-1470.
*PCS: Transcat’s Probability of Compliance with the Specification, which is a measurement risk value