CLAS requirements for assessment of calibration laboratories that offer services from more than one location
CLAS requirements document 10, June 2009
1.1 This document applies primarily to assessment of on-site calibration services delivered by a single laboratory from multiple dispatch locations in an organisation that is suitably structured and operated under central quality and technical management.
1.2 Under special conditions described herein, this document may also apply to the assessment of calibrations carried out at multiple permanent locations.
1.3 This document conforms to the requirements of CAN-P-4 (ISO/IEC 17025), General Requirements for the Competence of Testing and Calibration Laboratories, and to the PALCAN Handbook (CAN-P-1570) published by the Standards Council of Canada (SCC) at www.scc.ca. It is also consistent with the policies of other signatories of the ILAC, APLAC and IAAC arrangements.
1.4 This document is issued in partnership with the PALCAN program of the SCC.
2.1 Some CLAS laboratories and applicants provide calibration services that are designed primarily for delivery on-site by technicians who are dispatched from remote locations under the direct control and supervision of the laboratory. In these cases, the conventional concepts in CAN-P-4 and the PALCAN Handbook of “permanent laboratory” and “single site” no longer apply completely. This document presents CLAS requirements for assessment of such services while ensuring integrity without undue replication of efforts by the laboratory and the CLAS assessment teams.
3.1 The normal assessment and reassessment processes shall be applied collectively to the parent facility plus its remote dispatch locations. As a general rule, the parent facility plus all points of technical supervision, technical management, and quality system management shall be visited prior to recommending CLAS certification / SCC accreditation. They shall also be revisited at least once during each assessment cycle.
3.2 Likewise, all quantities in the scope or requested scope shall be assessed across a representative cross-section of the collective organization (i.e., parent facility plus its dispatch locations). It will generally not be necessary to assess each measurement quantity performed by each dispatch location during each assessment cycle. The distribution of measurement quantities and dispatch locations assessed shall take into account such issues as past performance and it shall be of sufficient depth and breadth to form a reliable judgement of collective compliance with the requirements for CLAS certification and SCC accreditation. Reassessments shall be planned so that a different distribution of measurement quantities and dispatch locations are taken into consideration from one reassessment visit to the next.
3.3 The principles outlined in [3.1] and [3.2] above also apply when assessing services delivered by separate laboratories, each having their own distinct CLAS certification/SCC accreditation, but which each report to the same headquarters while operating under the same quality system and structure of technical management and supervision. In these special cases, it is possible to carry out a combined assessment of the separate laboratories while respecting all requirements in the present document.
3.4 In addition to verifying compliance to all requirements of CAN-P-4, the PALCAN Handbook, and all CLAS Requirements, the CLAS assessment team shall verify that:
A single management structure and quality system exists for all locations.
The laboratory documents fully the relationships between the parent laboratory and remote locations and the extent of their interaction.
The laboratory identifies in advance of the CLAS assessment the specific technicians at the specific locations to be considered under the same CLAS scope.
The laboratory has mechanisms in place to ensure that work assignments are made to qualified technicians; to ensure an effective degree of technical supervision; to ensure that enquiries about work in progress are handled efficiently regardless of point of dispatch; and to ensure that reviews of requests, tenders and contracts include an appropriate consideration of clients’ or potential clients’ awareness of the situation when work is dispatched from a remote location.
The laboratory maintains an up-to-date matrix of which calibrations are carried out by whom from which dispatch locations.
Laboratory records from each location are available to and suitably controlled by the parent facility.
3.5 In general, all visits shall be led by the same Team Leader. All reasonable efforts shall be made to minimise time between visits.
3.6 A draft report of findings shall be presented at the end of each visit. They may be consolidated into a single final report. In such cases, and where findings relate to specific locations, then the report shall clearly identify the affected locations.
4.0 Suspension, reduction of scope, and withdrawal of SCC accreditation / CLAS certification
4.1 Recommendations for suspensions or reduction in scope at one location, whether voluntary or imposed, will automatically involve a full consideration of the implications for the parent facility and the collective group of locations. These implications may include suspension or scope reduction for the collective group where associated activities are affected.
5.0 CLAS scope
5.1 When two or more SCC accredited / CLAS certified laboratories are assessed collectively under the provisions of this Requirements Document, a separate CLAS scope will be published for each SCC accreditation / CLAS certification.
5.2 For SCC accreditation and CLAS certification of a permanent laboratory that offers on-site services from multiple dispatch locations, the first page of the CLAS scope shall identify clearly the parent facility plus each dispatch location for which the CLAS certification / SCC accreditation applies. It will not suffice to state, in a general sense, that the scope applies to services delivered from any dispatch location that reports to the parent laboratory. A suitable presentation is shown below.
Calibration laboratory assessment service
CLAS certificate number yyyy-nn
Page 1 of n
Parent laboratory name*
Tel Fax Email
All interested parties
*All calibration services listed in this scope are normally provided on-site by qualified laboratory technicians located in City1, City2, … , or Cityn operating under the direct control of this facility.
Field of calibration:
No. xxx First issued yyyy-mm-dd