Calibrations Due: Whose Job Is it?

 

I recently received an email from a customer that was upset because they found a gage that was overdue for calibration and believed we had failed them.  In fact we had sent an email stating what gages were due for calibration, but is that really the calibration companies responsibility.

Whose Job Is it To Be Responsible For Calibrations Due?

This may come as a surprise, but it is NOT the responsibility of your calibration company. Many companies, including Alliance Calibration, do send out a notice when items are coming due for calibration. However, it is the end-user of calibrations' responsibility to ensure their gages are calibrated.

ISO 9001:2015 section 1.3.3 Risk-based Thinking states " To conform to the requirements of this International Standard, an organization needs to plan and implement actions to address risks and opportunities."

Ensuring that measurement and test equipment is calibrated according to a schedule would certainly qualify as addressing risks.

ISO 9001:2015 section 7.1.5. Monitoring and measuring resources  states " The organization shall determine and provide resources needed to ensure valid and reliable results when monitoring or measuring is used to verify the conformity of products and services to requirements."

This clearly puts the responsibility on the end-user of calibration services to determine the calibration status of equipment and maintain that status as part of their overall risk management strategy.

You may want to read Calibration As a Risk Management Strategy.

That being said, many calibration providers offer an automated calibration due recall system and online access to calibration data which includes measurement and test equipment calibration intervals.

Don't ask your calibration provider to tell you when your equipment should be calibrated.

Calibrations Due_alliance calibration (1)

ISO 17025:2017 General requirements for the competence of testing and calibration laboratories section 7.8.4.3 " A calibration certificate or calibration label shall not contain any recommendation on the calibration interval except where this has been agreed with the customer."

Since ISO 17025:2017 does not allow a calibration laboratory to provide recommendations on calibration intervals should you expect the calibration provider to tell you when your calibrations are due?

If you answered yes, then where does that obligation begin and end?

If your calibration provider sent an email advising according to your specifications what are items are due for calibration is it their responsibility to remind you? How often?

See where this is going? Where does it end?

You go to use a gage. The calibration sticker says it is past due for calibration. You send the calibration company an email issuing a       SCAR (Supplier Corrective Action Report) because you have an item past due for calibration. 

Is it really the calibration laboratory's responsibility?

ISO 9001:2015 Section 9.1 Monitoring, measurement, analysis, and evaluation c) when the monitoring and measuring shall be performed-places the responsibility of the end-user of calibration services to determine the calibration intervals.

You may also want to read:

3 Things You Need To Know About Risk, Calibration, and ISO9001

3 Things Your Auditor Expects You To Do With Your Calibration Report

 

 

 

Phil Wiseman

Phil Wiseman

Phil Wiseman is Chief Marketing Officer at Alliance Calibration. He earned a B.S. in Chemical Physics from Centre College. Phil is an ASQ Certified Quality Auditor and ASQ Certified Manager of Quality/Organizational Excellence.

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