Corrective action of ISO 17025
The laboratory shall establish a policy and a procedure and shall designate appropriate authorities for implementing corrective action when nonconforming work or departures from the policies and procedures in the management system or technical operations have been identified.
NOTE A problem with the management system or with the technical operations of the laboratory may be identified through a variety of activities, such as control of nonconforming work, internal or external audits, management reviews, feedback from customers and from staff observations.
4.11.2 Cause analysis
The procedure for corrective action shall start with an investigation to determine the root cause(s) of the problem.
NOTE Cause analysis is the key and sometimes the most difficult part in the corrective action procedure. Often the root cause is not obvious and thus a careful analysis of all potential causes of the problem is required. Potential causes could include customer requirements, the samples, sample specifications, methods and procedures, staff skills and training, consumables, or equipment and its calibration.
4.11.3 Selection and implementation of corrective actions
Where corrective action is needed, the laboratory shall identify potential corrective actions. It shall select and implement the action(s) most likely to eliminate the problem and to prevent recurrence.
Corrective actions shall be to a degree appropriate to the magnitude and the risk of the problem.
The laboratory shall document and implement any required changes resulting from corrective action investigations.
4.11.4 Monitoring of corrective actions
The laboratory shall monitor the results to ensure that the corrective actions taken have been effective.
4.11.5 Additional audits
Where the identification of nonconformities or departures casts doubts on the laboratory’s compliance with its own policies and procedures, or on its compliance with this International Standard, the laboratory shall ensure that the appropriate areas of activity are audited in accordance with 4.14 as soon as possible.
NOTE Such additional audits often follow the implementation of the corrective actions to confirm their effectiveness. An additional audit should be necessary only when a serious issue or risk to the business is identified.