In the latest issue of Cal Lab: The International Journal of Metrology, ANAB's Roger Muse provides a nice description of the ISO/IEC 17025 accreditation process.
As Muse begins, "To the uninitiated, accreditation to ISO/IEC 17025 can seem mysterious, confusing, or downright daunting. Just what does accreditation mean? And exactly how is it accomplished?"
He begins answering these questions by defining accreditation as "the means by which an authoritative body provides formal recognition that an organization is competent to carry out specific tasks."
Muse then provides some context on what constitutes a qualified accreditation body with regard to the ILAC infrastructure for international recognition. To the uninitiated, accreditation may be a fuzzy concept, if it's on the radar at all. But understanding that accreditation bodies that are signatories to the ILAC MRA operate according to their own international standards is key to understanding the value and benefits of accreditation.
The reader is then walked through the steps to ANAB accreditation - complete with flowchart - to provide a sense of the rigor of the process. Muse's description also conveys the importance of the information exchanged between customer and accreditation body. There must be an understanding between the lab and the accreditation body, which begins with the quote and application. The accreditation body must have the needed technical expertise for the process. And most central to ANAB's process is a focus on customer needs at every step along the way.