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What are NABL / Nationally Accredited Laboratory?

Globally, calibration expertise is independently evaluated and affirmed when a Calibration agency undergoes third party accreditation to the International Standards, ISO/IEC 17025
In each country it has its APEX Laboratory who hold Ref Standards which are derived from International Standards which are kept in Geneva. Also it has a Body/Board which evaluates all laboratories in accordance with ISO/IEC 17025:2005.This body/Board is empowered by respective Governments to carry out evaluations and to issue Certificates of Evaluations. All such Bodies/Boards are at par by authority. In India we have a "National Accreditation Board for Test & Calibration Laboratories". This board is empowered by act of Parliament of Government of India to evaluate and offer Accreditation to Test and calibration Laboratories in India.

Why Calibrate?


Calibration is occasionally viewed by organizations as an undesirable overhead rather than as a Quality Assurance Tool. As such, calibration is often being seen as an IMPOSITION by an outside party rather than as an integral part of an organization's OVERALL QUALITY MANAGEMENT SYSTEM. Proper calibration of critical equipments / instruments is central to your company's service and reputation, whether you are a manufacturer, service provider, supplier or small business.
An incorrectly calibrated piece of critical equipment has a FLOW IN EFFECT on your product and services that can be devastating to both, your business and that of your customer. Product recalls and litigations are increasingly common outcome that can be traced back to seemingly innocent pieces measuring / controlling instruments operating quite happily outside their performance specifications.

Does getting instruments calibrated from Accredited Laboratory adds value to my products or services?


Proper calibration of instrumentation and equipments relies heavily on the skill, expertise and technical knowledge of the individual performing the work of calibration, interpretation and reporting results.
It is important to select a calibration laboratory which is Nationally Accredited by Third Party (In India by NABL, which is equivalent to NIST in USA). Accredited Laboratories are assessed periodically for its competence to perform the Calibration.
Globally, calibration expertise is independently evaluated and affirmed when a Calibration agency undergoes third party accreditation to the International Standards, ISO/IEC 17025. Not all calibration agencies have Accreditation to ISO/IEC 17025. Some may have ISO 9000 certification, and many have no independent credentials at all. Some have been operating for many years, but this does not necessarily mean they are doing things CONSISTANTLY, CORRECTLY OR IN ACCORDANCE WITH RELEVENT STANDARDS. Staff change, management change, and expertise and skill flow in and out of these agencies as with any business. Because calibration is so DEPENDANT on individual skill and expertise of the service Personnel performing the activity, the issues of Training and ongoing education are very crucial in Calibration Agencies.
Accreditation to ISO 17025 cover not only management side, but also Issues of technical competence are effectively addressed. Specialist Evaluators ,who are who are themselves Calibration Experts rather than generalist auditors, focus on Establishing the knowledge and skill of service personnel and overall technical capability of the agency in addition to ISO 9000 management elements.
The proper calibration of critical equipments is so crucial to your company's service and reputation that you cannot afford to rely simply on assurance by service provider that they know what they are doing.

How to choose Calibration Interval?
  A large number of factors influence the frequency Of Calibration Interval. The most important are as follows.
Type Of Equipment
Extent and Severity of use
Tendency to wear out and Drift.
Environmental conditions
Accuracy Of Measurement Sought
Frequency Of In Service Checks.
Trend Data obtained from Previous Calibration Records.
Cost Of calibration
Risk involved in using faulty Instrument
What is the "Scope of Accreditation"…?

The list of specific tests, types of tests or calibrations for which a laboratory is found competent is listed in scope of accreditation along with details like test methods, ranges, uncertainties etc. The final content of the scope is recommended by the assessors and approved by NABL.
Courtesy: NABL Website (www.nabl-india.org)

What is "uncertainty of measurements"?

Uncertainty has traditinally been defined as a range of values, usually centered on the measured value, that contains the true with stated probability. A measurement result and its uncertainty traditionally were reported as "Quantity=Value +/- Uncertainty.

Uncertainty of measurement is important for the critical equipments used for Testing & Calibration purposes. As per ISO/IEC:17025, every Calibration laboratory must report the Uncertainty of measurement for every measurements performed.


It is very important to note that scope don't always include all the laboratory's capabilities. This is due either to the laboratory's request to limit the scope, or because the assessors have not been able to affirm the laboratory's competency in all areas for which the laboratory was seeking accreditation. Capabilities that are not listed on the scope of accreditation are not covered by the laboratory's NABL accreditation.

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