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Detailed chain of custody from a lab accredited ISO17025

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Guest user Created:   Aug 06, 2020 Last commented:   Aug 06, 2020

Detailed chain of custody from a lab accredited ISO17025

I have had a lab test done to determine a chemical substance quantity at a lab certified ISO17025. The sample went to further labs. The certified 17025 lab refuses to provide a chain of custody with full records and photographs stating they are notobliged to

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ISO 17025 DOCUMENTATION TOOLKIT

Step-by-step implementation for smaller companies.

ISO 17025 DOCUMENTATION TOOLKIT

Step-by-step implementation for smaller companies.

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Tracey Evans Aug 06, 2020

I will address your question generally in terms of a basic contract agreement and specifically in terms of the requirements an ISO 17025 laboratory should meet for their accreditation. At this point, both parties should clearly define the problem – what you are asking and for what reason and why and for what reason they are saying they cannot assist?

The scope and requirements of the service should have been very clear before testing commenced. If it was not requested by  yourself upfront and not advertised by the laboratory as part of their normal service, the laboratory may not be able to provide evidence of the specific chain of custody of your receipt sample. This may be due to confidentiality and basic operational (batching) limitations. What the laboratory is responsible for is to manage the risks and requirements for handling of your sample, ensure unique identification and have a system in place to ensure traceability of that sample from testing through to reporting, They need to ensure that your interests are protected through their management system; ensure the technical validity of your results and data integrity.

This brings me to the addrressing your concern. The laboratory is required to have a documented process to handle complaints and make a description available to you. I suggest you state the exact problem. If for example results deviated from other laboratories, you could perhaps request a retest. I suggest you ask both laboratories what the measurement uncertainty is for their method and to explain the reason for the deviation to you.  If you are concerned there was a gross mix-up and the result is not that of your sample, start by checking if the number or name you identified your sample appears on the issued report. If correct, you can at least request a photograph of your retained sample, to verify the lab identification number. Alternatively, you could request access to relevant areas to check the receipt label on your retained sample. Ask them to provide the details and verify in writing that there is traceability of your sample from receipt to reporting, for example registration verified, what the batch number was, analysis date.  Furthermore you can ask the laboratory to provide some evidence to verify the quality assurance requirements were met for the batch that your sample was part of. You can also request return your retained sample.

In summary the laboratory must meet specified contractual obligations, handle your sample suitably, deal with your complaint as per procedure and cooperate with “reasonable” requests (that do not put any management system activities at risk). If the laboratory blatantly refuses to cooperate, your recourse is to report them to their ISO 17025 accreditation body. You can find the details on their ISO 17025 accreditation certificate.I trust however, that the issue will be resolved, once the purpose and reasons are understood by both parties.

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Aug 06, 2020

Aug 06, 2020