Calibration of Equipment
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I was carrying out an audit recently for a Client and as part
that audit I looked at a number of pieces of calibrated equipment;
normally equipment is calibrated by a calibration house accredited by
UKAS but in this instance the calibration house was not fully
accredited to UKAS but claimed full traceability to National and
International Standards using equipment that had been calibrated by a
fully accredited calibration centre. This is quite normal and
acceptable. They quoted the calibration certificate numbers of the
I asked my Client if he could get copies of these certificates
his Calibration house so that I could check that full traceability was
The owner of the calibration house confessed that as he didn't
that equipment very often the original certificates of calibration had
expired and he had extended their currency. It turned out that the
certificates had expired some years ago. Extending these again and
again is not permitted and unfortunately I had to issue a Major
Non-conformity to my Client for using non-calibrated equipment.
In most respects my Client had everything under control but
issue was very important as my Client had produced product using what
he thought was calibrated equipment.
It is probable that no real damage has been done but it could
have been disastrous.
The moral here is to question a statement that "this measuring
equipment is calibrated using Items traceable to an International or
National Standard" if the Calibration House is not accredited to UKAS.
If it is not then you need to see the certificates to show that their
equipment is calibrated and in date.
About the Author
Chris Eden FIBC, MISSA, ACQI is a director of Quality Matters
Limited an established independent management consultancy based in
Essex, UK which specialises in BS OHSAS 18001:2007 - Health & Safety Management
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Article Published/Sorted/Amended on Scopulus 2011-10-21 16:48:25 in Business Articles