Revision of ISO/IEC 17025 in Progress

The first meeting of Working Group (WG) 44 to revise ISO/IEC 17025 was held the second week of February 2015. The meetings are being held in Geneva, Switzerland, and attended by approximately 80 experts from dozens of countries. During this first meeting, basic decisions were made for the format of the revision, as ISO/CASCO has standardized the format and basic content of ISO standards. Also discussed were how the revision of ISO 9001 would be included (option A or B) and whether sampling could be a standalone accreditation.

Following the meeting, WG 44 members were asked to submit clause and/or technical issues that they wished to be discussed during the next meeting.

The second meeting was held the first week of June 2015. Prior to this meeting, the clauses of ISO/IEC 17025:2005 were placed in the new format and the review of specifics began with regard to retaining, modifying, or removing. To facilitate this review, members split into smaller groups to discuss specific clauses and to review remarks received from the group between the first and second meetings. 

As expected, this is the most difficult part of the revision process and there was heated discussion about many items; the meeting report characterized some areas as “very polarized.” That said, there was agreement on many areas and the meeting was a great success. Because the current draft is very rough and specifics are not to be released to the general public, the areas agreed are undisclosed for the time being.

A third meeting was held August 18-20 to prepare the document for the Committee Draft (CD) ballot.

The proposed schedule going forward is as follows:

  • End of October 2015: CD ballot will close and comments will be collated
  • January 2016: Drafting group meeting
  • February 4, 2016: Meeting to prepare the document
  • February 2016: Final ballot
  • July 2016: Close ballot and collate comments