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The ISO/IEC 17025 "General requirements for the competence of testing and calibration laboratories" is the main ISO standard used by testing and calibration laboratories. In most major countries, ISO/IEC 17025 is the standard for which many labs must hold accreditation in order to be deemed technically competent. There are many commonalities with the ISO 9000 standard, but ISO/IEC 17025 is more specific in requirements for competence.

The Rock Island Arsenal Joint Manufacturing and Technology Center Materials Science Lab has just passed their accreditation audit for the third-year in a row, and this time passed with no non-conformances and no observations.

"The lab worked very hard to prepare for this audit and ensure that the work they are doing is valid and completed to the highest standard," stated Stephanie Hoaglin, RIA-JMTC materials science branch chief.

She continued that the past few weeks were spent updating the lab's quality management system, and completing annual training requirements and proficiency testing programs to demonstrate their abilities to the lab accreditation service provider.

"The lab spends their day checking quality control parameters in departments such as heat treat, welding, the foundry and plating. They also assist the shop floor with problems concerning material identification, setting process parameters and developing procedures for various projects," said Hoaglin. "RIA-JMTC is lucky to have a diverse group of technical professionals in the materials laboratory, willing to tackle any challenges presented to them."