IEC Quality Assessment System for Electronic Components (IECQ System)
Certification as independent testing laboratories
ESPEC's test facilities have been certified as independent testing laboratories under the IEC Quality Assessment System for Electronic Components (IECQ System). ISO/IEC 17025 defines an Independent Testing Laboratory as an organization within the IECQ system that has been certified for its quality system operation competence and technical expertise.
Created to enable smooth trade in electronic components, the IECQ system (IEC Quality Assessment System for Electronic Components) is a global IEC certification system that started in 1982. It merged with the European certification system for electronic parts (CECC) in 2003, becoming the IECQ-CECC system. The IECQ and CECC merger has created a single global system for quality certification of electronic parts.
Link to IECQ website IECQ
Link to website of domestic Japanese Certification Bodies Japan Quality Assurance Organization (JQA)
ISO/IEC 17025 (IECQ system certification criteria)
ISO/IEC 17025 (JIS Q 17025) is a standard that specifies the management system and technical competency requirements for test facilities and calibration organizations. It has been expanded and revised by ISO/IEC Guide 25.
Certification systems for test facilities and calibration organizations have spread worldwide, and agreements such as APLAC (Asia Pacific Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation) and ILAC (International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation) have been signed. These developments are enabling the test results and calibration certificates of a test facility or calibration organization certified in one country to be recognized and applicable internationally. There is also growing demand for certification of test facilities and calibration organizations in connection with the CE mark system, QS 9000, and Japan's Industrial Standardization Act and Law of Weights and Measures. One major difference between ISO/IEC 17025 and certification systems such as ISO 9000 is that technical competency in testing and calibration are assessed in addition to the quality system. And while ISO 9000 certifies factories and products, ISO/IEC 17025 certifies measurement methods and test methods, along with the items measured or tested.
The measurement/test methods used can be either methods specified in international standards, or independently developed methods. Similarly, a certified test facility can be an independent organization (independent lab) or part of a corporate organization (in-house lab), and its size doesn't matter. Certification covers the technical competence of the staff and organization in areas such as creating an appropriate quality system, traceability, suitable test/calibration methods and uncertainty estimates. Skills are assessed by comparing tests done by different test facilities, and through round robin tests with official research facilities. The table below lists some of the assessment organizations that certify the competence of test facilities/calibration organizations. The certification systems of all these organizations assess compliance with the requirements specified in ISO/IEC 17025.
|Certified organizations||Assessing organization||Assessment system name|
|Test facilities||Japan Accreditation Board (JAB)|
|Test facilities||National Institute of Technology and Evaluation (NITE)||Japan National Laboratory Accreditation System (JNLA)|
|Calibration organizations||National Institute of Technology and Evaluation (NITE)||Japan Calibration Service System (JCSS)|
|Calibration organizations||Japan Accreditation Board (JAB)|
The Japanese government's supply system for standards, and improvements in test methods are making ISO/IEC 17025 (JIS Q 17025) certification a mandatory requirement for operating a test facility or calibration organization. ESPEC's test facilities have been certified as independent testing laboratories under the IEC Quality Assessment System for Electronic Components (IECQ System). ISO/IEC 17025 (JIS Q 17025) specifies the competency requirements for the test facilities certified under this system.