Relevance of Measurement Traceability Standards to Environmental Testing Laboratories (Including ISO/IEC 17025, Clauses 5.6.1-5.6.2)

Oral Presentation

Prepared by C. Kircher
Florida Department of Health, 1217 N. Pearl Street, Jacksonville, FL, 32202, United States

Contact Information:; 904-791-1574


At the time that the 2001-version of the NELAC Standard was updated to include the changes from ISO Guide 25 being converted to the ISO/IEC 17025 international standard, the language from clauses 5.6.1-5.6.2 was omitted from the 2002-version NELAC draft. This omission has continued into the present-day version of Volume 1, Module 2 of the TNI Environmental Laboratory Sector standards. While this decision seemed to be valid at the time, to alleviate confusion on what requirements of calibration laboratories should not be applicable to environmental testing laboratories, the decision has generated further confusion on the total scope that measurement traceability has to these testing laboratories.

This presentation will attempt to justify why the reinsertion of clauses 5.6.1-5.6.2 into the TNI standards is beneficial to environmental testing laboratories. The most obvious reason is to demonstrate equivalency or similarity of the NELAP program to Dept. of Defense, NEFAP, and other ISO/IEC 17025-style accreditation systems, for potential mutual recognition purposes. However, there are valid laboratory managerial and technical reasons for their inclusion as well. Examples will be provided for accredited laboratories that perform both calibration and testing activities, and for Fields of Accreditation under NELAP where clauses 5.6.1-5.6.2 are more pertinent and relevant than the existing standards in Module 2, Section (for support equipment) and in the Technical Modules.