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Applicability of sampling (clause 7.3) to a calibration laboratory

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Guest user Created:   Nov 25, 2021 Last commented:   Nov 26, 2021

Applicability of sampling (clause 7.3) to a calibration laboratory

Greetings! In what circumstances Sampling (Clause 7.3) is applicable to a calibration lab? My understanding is that if a calibration lab has a manufacturer (or bulk purchaser) of measuring instruments (MIs) as a customer, which requires a random sampling of products (e.g. thermocouples) from production line or a lot and asks the calibration lab to pick up random samples of MIs and calibrate them as a part of their quality assurance, then clause 7.3 will be applicable. In the normal course, a calibration laboratory is supposed to calibrate (within its scope) whatever MI is sent to it by a customer. Is my understanding correct? Another view is that calibration lab can apply sampling for its internal quality control purposes. For example, it can randomly sample MI calibrated itself and recalibrate them using another equipment/method/calibration technician etc. Is 7.3 applicable in this case? I would appreciate your view. Best regards and thanks in advance.
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ISO 17025 DOCUMENTATION TOOLKIT

Step-by-step implementation for smaller companies.

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Tracey Evans Nov 26, 2021

You asked 

in what circumstances Sampling (Clause 7.3) is applicable to a calibration lab? In the normal course, a calibration laboratory is supposed to calibrate (within its scope) whatever MI is sent to it by a customer. Is my understanding correct?

Yes, your understanding is correct. For a laboratory re receiving items for calibration, there is no sampling involved. The lab receives the item/s referred to typically as “unit under calibration”, “unit under test” or “device under test”

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Another view is that calibration lab can apply sampling for its internal quality control purposes. For example, it can randomly sample MI calibrated itself and recalibrate them using another equipment/method/calibration technician etc. Is 7.3 applicable in this case?

No, clause 7.3 is not applicable in the case described. ISO 17025 clearly refers to sampling as an activity that leads to subsequent testing or calibration. This means, for the purpose of releasing results.

For more information on the requirements of ISO 17025, download the free White Paper Clause-by-clause explanation of ISO 17025:2017 at https://info.advisera.com/17025academy/free-download/clause-by-clause-explanation-of-iso-17025

You can also have a look at the ISO 17025 document template previews: Sampling Procedure as well as the two appendices, at  https://advisera.com/17025academy/documentation/sampling-procedure/

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