FAQ: Calibration types
We often receive inquiries about what type of calibration services we offer. Our customers ask about NIST, ISO 17025, or A2LA calibrations. Let’s take a look at each of these terms and how they may relate to Alicat.
NIST: The National Institute of Standards and Technologies (NIST) manages the national metrology standards for the United States. When we say something is “NIST traceable” it means that there is a paper trail connecting the device to a national standard housed at NIST. This is typically done by “transfer standards” which are devices that have been measured against the national standard. All Alicat calibrations are NIST traceable. If requested, Alicat can provide a record of each tool used in the transfer chain going back to a NIST recognized standard.
ISO 9001: The International Organization for Standards (ISO) is an independent international organization based in Switzerland that sets out standard requirements on everything from managing businesses to the environment and healthcare, even how to make a cup of tea. Alicat’s Management System has been ISO 9001 certified since 2004.
ISO 17025 General requirements for the competence of testing and calibration laboratories: In most countries, ISO 17025 is the standard for which calibration labs must hold accreditation in order to be deemed technically competent. In some cases, suppliers and regulatory authorities will not accept test or calibration results from a lab that is not accredited.
A2LA: A2LA is the short name for the American Association for Laboratory Accreditation. A2LA is a non-profit, non-governmental independent accrediting service. A2LA is commonly the organization that would oversee and audit an ISO 17025 certified calibration house.
Alicat Calibrations: Alicat meets nearly all of the requirements of the ISO 17025 accreditation. However, even though our processes are similar (or in some cases better), we are not an accredited calibration house, and we have neither ISO 17025/A2LA accreditation.
Many Alicat customers place a clause in their documentation stating that we are the OEM calibration source for the item, as we are the original manufacturer. This allows them to bypass the need for an accredited lab for its annual calibration of the Alicat device. If necessary we will, for an additional fee, send a device to an accredited lab for certification. We also have more information on understanding Alicat calibration and accuracy specifications.