As part of the project of European Association of National Metrology Institutes (EURAMET Project reg.no.1265) from 2013, the Chair of EURAMET’s Committee for Quality (TC-Q), Enver Sadıkoğlu, has visited the Bureau of Metrology. The project implies review of the quality management system implemented at the Bureau of Metrology.

During his stay at the Bureau, the Chair of TC-Q Enver Sadıkoğlu, underlined that the rules of signatories of CIPM Mutual Recognition Arrangement require that the Bureau of Metrology implements and applies the QMS in accordance with the ISO/IEC 17025 in support of the calibration activities. Sadıkoğlu estimated that the existence of an established and fully functional quality management system creates, as he said, additional trust with clients, and that the Bureau of Metrology has made a significant progress in the last five years, especially when it comes to the technical competence of its employees.

BoM: How important is the establishment of a quality system for an NMI?
Enver Sadıkoğlu: It would be probably trivial to say that it is very important. In general sense, an established and well operating quality management system helps to any organization to manage all processes efficiently and effectively. It provides opportunity for planning, operating and monitoring of processes, identifying opportunities for improvements and implementing planned improvement actions. Customers usually consider service providers, and NMI is actually service provider, with established QMS as more serious partners. In addition, if we speak about NMI, which is signatory of the Mutual Recognition Arrangement (CIPM MRA), then fully operational QMS covering calibration services of NMI is mandatory requirement.

BoM: How exactly a quality system can contribute, not just to the performance of NMIs, but what benefits does it bring to the clients and business partners?
Enver Sadıkoğlu: From the point of view of customers and business partners, existence of established and fully operational quality management system at NMI brings additional trust. Particularly if the QMS is accredited or approved by other authorities, e.g. EURAMET Technical Committee for Quality (TC-Q), this strengthens confidence in services provided by NMI to customers.

BoM: The most popular standard for the testing and calibration laboratories was updated in December last year – what exactly do these changes imply?
Enver Sadıkoğlu: New edition of the ISO/IEC 17025 standard was published in November 2017. However it should not be considered as an absolutely new standard. New structure of the standard is now compliant with the structure of common CASCO standards. There are very few minor changes in technical requirements. The major change is related to its structure and the new edition put forward the risk based approach.

BoM: How does the aforementioned improved standard (ISO/IEC 17025:2017) help NMIs reach a higher level of performance and competitiveness in the market?
Enver Sadıkoğlu: Personally I do not think that new edition of the standard will be an extremely strong tool for NMIs to reach higher level of performance and competiveness in the market. However, the application of a risk based approach will minimize non-conformities and identify opportunities in a systematic way. As the new addition of the standard leaves to NMIs to decide on the way they want to implement its requirements, it gives to them more flexibility and forces them to operate in a more pro-active way.

BoM: How does the new standard affect an NMI and what is the deadline for harmonization and its implementation?
Enver Sadıkoğlu: It is general opinion of many experts, and I also share this opinion that new edition of the standard will affect NMIs significantly. As changes in technical requirements are very minor in nature, NMIs have to adapt their current QMS to the requirements of the new edition of the standard. This will probably require amendment of few general procedures used by NMIs, in some cases new mechanisms have to be developed and implemented. The deadline for adopting the QMS to the requirements of the new edition of the standard is the end of 2020.

BoM: You are currently visiting us at the Bureau of Metrology, what are your impressions of the work of our laboratories?
Enver Sadıkoğlu: I have been in the Bureau of Metrology in 2013. I would like to confirm that MBM has made a great progress since that time. MBM’s QMS passed successfully the review within EURAMET TC-Q and has now published CMCs in the BIPM Key Comparison Database (KCDB). There are no doubts that this progress became possible due to systematic approach of MBM’s management focusing specifically on the needs of the country and gradually making investment in the infrastructure of the Bureau in a correct way. In addition, I would like to mention a remarkable increase in technical competence of MBM’s staff.

BoM: What would be your recommendations for the future development of the Montenegrin Bureau of Metrology?
Enver Sadıkoğlu: MBM has to continue on its way of extending its capabilities and meeting the needs of customers at the national level towards institutional strategic objectives. This will definitely require an establishment of new laboratories covering new technical areas. It is not an easy task as it requires funds and human resources. But looking to the progress made by MBM over the past, I’m sure that we will hear about new success stories from MBM in the future.