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Transition Arrangements for ISO/IEC 17025:2017

The following is reproduced from a joint ISO-ILAC Communique issued in November 2017. It provides guidance to laboratories and accreditation bodies on the transition to full applicability of ISO/IEC 17025:2017:

Laboratories wishing to demonstrate their technical competence can do so via conformity with the international standard ISO/IEC 17025 ‘General requirements for the competence of testing and calibration laboratories’. Conformity with this standard also means that the laboratory generally operates a management system in accordance with the principles of ISO 9001.


In 2017, ISO published a revision to ISO/IEC 17025 (previously published in 2005) to ensure that requirements continue to meet the demands of the modern market place. As a consequence, it has been agreed that laboratories that demonstrate conformity through third-party accreditation will need to transition their processes to the new version within a defined timeframe. ILAC, in
consultation with ISO, agreed that a three year period from the date of publication shall be allowed for this transition.


During this transition period, it is important to note that both ISO/IEC 17025:2005 and ISO/IEC 17025:2017 are equally valid and applicable. Formal accreditation to either standard granted by an accreditation body that is a signatory to the ILAC Arrangement should be recognised by the market place, and it is strongly recommended that specifiers equally recognise both versions until after the 3-year transition period has closed.

(The full Communique may be downloaded here).

ALAB's policy for the transition to ISO/IEC 17025:2017 is as follows:

ALAB Transition Policy  18-001

Recognizing the guidance provided by ISO and ILAC concerning ISO/IEC 17025:2017, the Board of ALAB has approved the following policy for the smooth transition of laboratories to the new Standard:

1. The transition period expires on 27th November 2020

2. From 27th November 2017 and until 27th November 2018, new applicants for accreditation may choose the 2005 version or the 2017 version of the Standard

3. Between 27th November 2017 and 27th November 2018 all existing accredited laboratories will be assessed to the 2017 version of the Standard and any noncompliances will be raised as non-binding comments

3. From 27th November 2018, all existing accredited laboratories will be assessed to the 2017 version of the Standard and any noncompliances will be raised as Nonconformities

5. All nonconformities to the 2017 version of the Standard shall be addressed by the laboratory and closed by ALAB prior to 26th June 2020

6. Accreditation certificates that have not been re-issued to the 2017 version of the Standard by 27th November 2020 will be withdrawn.

For more information or clarification please contact us

ALAB Transition Policy 20-001

In accordance with guidance provided by the International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC), the Board of ALAB has reviewed and agreed to adopt the following as a variation to Policy 18-001

"The ILAC Arrangement Management Committee (AMC) is responsible for monitoring the implementation of transition periods for the Level 3 standards used by the accreditation bodies under the ILAC MRA.

The members of the ILAC AMC have reviewed the reports received from the regional cooperation bodies detailing the progress of the accreditation bodies in their region in completing the transition of the accredited laboratories to ISO/IEC 17025:2017 by 30 November 2020.

Whilst progress up until March 2020, when the data was collected, was typical for this stage in the transition of such a standard, given the now global impact of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak and subsequent health and safety measures adopted by most economies, the members of the AMC recommend that an extension to this transition period is warranted. This will ensure all accreditation bodies and the accredited laboratories are able to achieve the remaining transitions in a robust manner.

The AMC therefore recommends that the end of the transition period adopted as part of the ILAC Resolution GA 20.15 (November 2016) be extended from 30 November 2020 to 1 June 2021 to ensure all laboratories are able to be transitioned under the restrictions imposed as a result of the global coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak.

This recommendation is currently the subject of a 30 day ILAC ballot with all eligible voting members. The outcome of the ballot and therefore the extension or otherwise of the implementation period for the transition to the 2017 version of ISO/IEC 17025 will be announced in June 2020."

The above is reproduced from the ILAC website

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