|| International laboratory certification (ISO/IEC17025 or JISQ
17025) is a system whereby an authorizing institution certifies that calibration
and testing laboratories are competent to carry out specific calibrations and
tests. In February 1999, our Chiba Laboratories became Japan’s first analytical
service operation to be certified by the Minister of International Trade and
Industry (JNLA). In July 1999, moreover, they received Japan Chemical Laboratory
Accreditation (JCLA) for the environmental sector. Our Ehime Laboratories followed
suit and were certified in April 2000 by the JCLA for the environmental sector.
(The ISO/IEC17025 standard was issued in December 1999 to supersede ISO/IEC Guide
||The ISO 9000 series certifies the quality system for an entire
business entity. However, the quality of the products themselves is not certified.
Thus, in the case of analytical services, ISO 9000 certifies the quality system
of the overall laboratories but not the quality of the analytical test results
(test reports). In contrast, ISO/IEC17025 assures the quality of analytical test
results. In ISO/IEC17025, therefore, the scope of accreditation covers not the entire
laboratories but individual substances to be tested as well as the specific analytical
test method for that substance. This includes, for example, tensile testing of
polymer materials and gas chromatography for vinyl acetate. Every product-test
method combination is carefully examined, after which an accreditation is issued.
In other words, ISO/IEC17025 is a system under which an authorizing third party
accredits an entity as having the technological competence to carry out specific
test methods. What is more, the quality system and technological management are
examined once a year on a regular basis, and if problems are detected, accreditation
is withdrawn. We obtained ISO/IEC17025 accreditation because we wanted objective
assurance that our data was highly reliable—a claim we proudly make in
our products’ test reports.