ISO/IEC 17025 enables laboratories to demonstrate that they operate competently and generate valid results, thereby promoting confidence in their work both nationally and around the world. It also helps facilitate cooperation between laboratories and other bodies by generating wider acceptance of results between countries. Test reports and certificates can be accepted from one country to another without the need for further testing, which, in turn, improves international trade.
ISO/IEC 17025 is useful for any organization that performs testing, sampling or calibration and wants reliable results. This includes all types of laboratories, whether they be owned and operated by government, industry or, in fact, any other organization. The standard is also useful to universities, research centers, governments, regulators, inspection bodies, product certification organizations and other conformity assessment bodies with the need to do testing, sampling or calibration. Also by standardisation of good laboratory practices and technical requirements therein, it includes requirements for accreditation of laboratories. This also specifies requirements for quality and competence particular to medical laboratories. ISO 15189 is for use by medical laboratories in developing their quality management systems and assessing their own competence, and for use by accreditation bodies in confirming or recognising the competence of medical laboratories.