A test laboratory establishes the properties of something. How many bacteria are there in the meat? How much harmful radiation does a device emit? How many heavy metals are in the water? This is often established using measuring equipment. This equipment therefore has to be calibrated by a calibration laboratory.
The test results are supplied to the client who then determines the meaning of the results. Is this brick hard enough for road use? Is this drinking water suitable for consumption? And so on. In principle, everything that can be measured is tested by a laboratory. The field of work of a test laboratory is therefore broad.
Measuring instruments have to give the correct readings. If a petrol pump says it has dispensed 50 litres of petrol we want to be certain that 50 litres have actually been dispensed. If a French car manufacturer asks for a 6 mm diameter bolt the supplier in Korea has to deliver a bolt with that precise diameter.
A calibration laboratory establishes whether the value that a measuring device gives is correct in relation to the international unit of measure. This is important for the entire production chain. The work of calibration laboratories is therefore the basis for other disciplines.
EAF Accreditation scheme for Calibration and Testing laboratories is strictly built as per ISO 17025.
ISO 17025 specifies requirements for the general requirements for the competence to carry out tests and/or calibrations, including sampling. It covers testing and calibration performed using standard methods, non-standard methods, and laboratory-developed. ISO/IEC 17025 is applicable to all laboratories regardless of the number of personnel or the extent of the scope of testing and/or calibration activities.
EAF accredits calibration and testing laboratories on the basis of the ISO/IEC 17025 standard. Accredited laboratories are obliged to participate in proficiency testing: testing whereby the test results from various laboratories are compared against each other.