Marine Institute laboratories have been accredited with the latest international standard (ISO/IEC 17025-2017) for 'General Requirements for the Competence of Testing and Calibration Laboratories'.
ISO/IEC 17025 is the international reference for testing and calibration laboratories wanting to demonstrate their capacity to deliver reliable results. The laboratories support core services and research conducted by the Marine Environment and Food Safety (MEFS) service area of the Marine Institute and are used for testing for fish health, shellfish biotoxins, chemistry, microbiology, phytoplankton and molecular monitoring, for which 35 test methods have been accredited.
Dr Jeff Fisher, Director of Marine Environment and Food Safety Services (MEFS) at the Marine Institute said, "The transition to the new international standard is a huge success for MEFS, and I congratulate the team for their efforts. Our laboratories now have a stronger emphasis on addressing risks."
By moving away from paper-based systems, the new standard focuses on integrating information technology to minimise risks and maximise opportunities for improvements to the overall quality management system.
MEFS laboratories were recognised with the ISO/IEC 17025 standard following the annual Irish National Accreditation Board (INAB) Audit from 10 – 12 April 2019 in the Marine Institute. The INAB auditors and technical assessors were impressed with MEFS audit preparations, the use of the Paradigm system for electronic document management, the compliance practices with General Data Protection Regulation, and the overall quality management program managed by Quality Manager Dr Yvonne Bogan.
Laboratories are required to transition before November 2020, and Marine Institute laboratories have transitioned well before this target date. The changeover to the new standard was led by the Transition Team of Aaron McKeown, Leon Devilly, Ciara Nulty and Dr Ciar O'Toole.