The requirements for personnel competency are encapsulated in Section 5.2.1 of ISO 17025. This states: ‘The laboratory management shall ensure the competence of all who operate specific equipment, perform tests and/or calibrations, evaluate results, and sign test reports and calibration certificates. When using staff who are undergoing training, appropriate supervision shall be provided. Personnel performing specific tasks shall be qualified on the basis of appropriate education, training, experience and/or demonstrated skills, as required.’
This means making sure that any new personnel are fully trained as well as keeping current personnel up to date with any changes in procedures. This could involve changes in a test regime, or a new test being introduced, a software upgrade to an analytical instrument or the introduction of a new piece of equipment.
ISO/IEC 17025 specifies the general requirements for the competence to carry out tests and/or calibrations, including sampling. It covers testing and calibration performed using standard methods, non-standard methods, and laboratory-developed methods. Naturally the competency of personnel to carry out particular tests are an important part of this capability and are referenced in Sections 4.1.4, 4.1.5, 4.1.5 (f), 5.2.1 and 5.2.2 of the current standard, ISO/IEC 17025:2005.