Impartiality and confidentiality are two requirements that are vital for maintaining the trust and confidence that the users of tests and calibrations place in laboratories. In the context of an accredited internal company laboratory, companywide policies should be established and adopted, setting a course of action across the company to safeguard confidentiality and impartiality of the laboratory.
The extent to which impartiality and confidentiality need to be addressed will depend on your company structure. For example, if the company is small and there are shared incentives or resources between production and the quality assurance department or laboratory, either involving personnel or equipment; there is a threat to the impartiality of the laboratory. Identify possible confidentiality and impartiality issues as part of addressing risks and opportunities (another requirement of ISO 17025:2017); and using a Registry of Key Risk and Opportunities. Look at the organisational structure, processes and possible risks. For example, to minimise confidentiality risks, the laboratory should only reveal results and information to authorised personnel. To safeguard impartiality, identify possible commercial, financial, or other pressures from other departments, that may compromise activities and the quality of results. Consider internal issues, personal relationships, or other conflicts of interest. These risks must be addressed and resolved.
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