The surveillance visit assessed APEM’s conformity to the new standard and ongoing technical competence to ensure the requirements of the standard are met.
APEM Ltd has transitioned to ISO/IEC 17025:2017 General Requirements for the Competence of Testing and Calibration Laboratories. This comes after undertaking our tenth annual UKAS accreditation audit. We’re thrilled to have achieved this, a decade on from joining the accreditation scheme.
The one-day audit began with an examination of the team’s procedures and quality control systems. It included checking the organisation structure and resources, management of documented policies and procedures, evaluation processes (such as tenders and contracts), and witnessing of our laboratory analysis methods.
APEM first obtained the 17025 accreditation in 2010. We are one of few laboratories in the UK to be UKAS accredited. This recognises our identification and enumeration of freshwater and marine phytoplankton services, including blue green algae.
The latest version of ISO/IEC 17025 matches the requirements of other quality standards such as ISO 9001:2015, to which APEM is currently certified. The standard has a stronger emphasis on risk-based thinking and process outputs. Risk-based thinking is central to APEM’s quality management system to prevent issues before they occur. This means we can manage potential issues with a more proactive approach.
The internationally recognised accreditation ensures APEM operates at a competent level and generates impartial and valid results of high quality.
Andreea Botea, APEM’s quality manager, says,
“Our robust quality management system promotes confidence in the work we deliver for our clients and maintaining this accreditation for the 10th year definitely demonstrates our commitment to continuous improvement.”
UKAS is the UK’s national accreditation body. It’s responsible for determining the technical competence and integrity of organisations offering testing, calibration and certification services.