Standard and Accredited Calibration: Which One to Choose?
It’s no secret that calibrating your measuring instruments now and again is essential to maintaining their accuracy and getting precise results.
But when you go out in search of equipment calibration services to get the job done, you may come across two terms, namely standard calibration and accredited calibration. These two terms are levels of calibration that create a lot of confusion among people, making their decision of choosing the right calibration service a little difficult.
Should you get accredited calibration services or would a standard calibration company suffice for your needs?
In this blog, we aim to remove all your confusion regarding the standard and accredited calibration to help you choose the right one.
Let’s start with a quick look at the basics:
When an instrument is sent out for calibration, the calibration providers send a certificate called a calibration certificate along with the calibrated instrument to the company that requested for calibration.
This certification contains information about the calibrated instrument's performance and condition and acts as evidence of calibration for the instrument. This certification is an official document of record that provides traceability to the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) or other National Measurement Institute (NMI). The accuracy and completeness of the calibration certificate often reflect the credibility and validity of the calibration provider.
The calibration certificates are either standard certificates or accredited certificates, depending on the calibration provider.
Now, let’s look at the standard calibration and accredited certification
Standard Calibration (ANSI/NCSL Z540.1)
Standard calibration services provide calibration certificates with a calibration date and calibration due date. They provide a traceability statement. They also identify and report measurement parameters that do not meet the test specifications on the certificate.
17025 Accredited Calibration
If you use an accredited calibration service provider for calibrating your measuring equipment, you will have it calibrated in accordance with ISO/IEC 17025 within the approved scope of accreditation.
Accredited calibration services offer a certificate of calibration with the accrediting authority’s logo on the certification. The calibration data is available on the certificate, but the calibration due date is only written when asked by the customer or contractually agreed. These companies also provide a traceability statement along with measurement data and uncertainty for every parameter tested during the calibration.
Choosing between standard and accredited calibration
It’s worth noting that non-accredited or standard calibration services are not required to have a formal quality system nor do they provide measurement data to the customers. They may also not comply with the regulations that take into account the technical aspects of the calibration laboratory to make sure that proper training and methods are used during the calibration process.
On the other hand, accredited calibration providers are governed by the international standard ISO/IEC 17025 and audited regularly by several recognized governing bodies to analyze the calibration laboratory’s technical competence and ensure that they follow a set quality management system. They are expected to have quality and integrity during the calibration process.
Considering this, the best course of action is always to have an accredited calibration provider perform your instrument calibration.
If you are looking for an accredited calibration service provider, feel free to get in touch with us today.