A new CD is available containing all ISO/IEC International Standards and Guides for testing laboratories and inspection bodies.
Testing is a major conformity assessment activity and also provides the basis for other conformity assessment processes such as product certification and inspection. Conformity assessment is the process used to demonstrate that products, services, materials, management systems, personnel and organizations meet specified requirements.
ISO Secretary-General Rob Steele comments: "It has been estimated that standards and related conformity assessment activities have an impact on about 80 % of world commodity trade, which gives an idea of the importance of the conformity assessment standards and guides developed by ISO and its partner, the International Electrotechnical Commission."
The ISO/IEC Pack:Conformity assessment – Laboratories and inspection bodies, contains 10 standards and guides (plus a corrigendum). They include the general requirements for laboratories in order for them to be considered competent to carry out testing, calibration and sampling. These criteria are contained in ISO/IEC 17025:2005, General requirements for the competence of testing and calibration laboratories. An estimated 40 000 laboratories worldwide are accredited to ISO/IEC 17025.
Inspection bodies examine a huge range of products and processes, installations and plants. The overall aim is to reduce risk to the buyer and consumer of the item being inspected. As many laboratories also operate inspection activities, the CD also includes ISO/IEC 17020:1998, General requirements for the operation of various types of bodies performing inspection activities.
The use of ISO/IEC standards and guides on conformity assessment procedures allows for harmonization of good practice-based processes throughout the world. This not only facilitates international trade between countries, but also facilitates trade within countries giving the purchaser of the product or service confidence that it meets the requirements. The standards and guides in the new ISO/IEC Pack have been developed by ISO/CASCO , the ISO policy development committee on conformity assessment.
The CD, ISO/IEC Pack: Conformity assessment: Laboratories and inspection bodies (bilingual – English and French; ISBN 978-92-67-01169-1) is available from ISO national member institutes (see the complete list with contact details). It may also be obtained directly from the ISO Central Secretariat, price 742 Swiss francs, through the ISO Store or by contacting the Marketing & Communication department (see right-hand column).