This handbook provides guidance on how to establish a management system for Fuel Quality Laboratories (FQL) using the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) ISO/IEC 17025:2005, "General Requirements for the Competence of Testing and Calibration Laboratories (17025)." This handbook includes standards similar to those in 17025 and NIST Handbook 143 "State Weights and Measures Metrology Laboratories – Program Handbook" except that 17025 and Handbook 143 impose mandatory requirements. This handbook is intended as guidance, so the "shalls" in the handbooks on which it is based have been replaced with "shoulds" to make it clear that the text is only recommended. Implementation Notes are shown in italics to provide examples of a way that users may implement the recommendations.
If a laboratory conforms to Section 3.0 "Management Guidelines" and Section 4.0 "Technical Guidelines" of this handbook, it may be eligible for accreditation. If accreditation by NIST's National Voluntary Laboratory Accreditation Program (NVLAP) is sought, a request must be made to NVLAP to establish a testing laboratory accreditation program. Section 3.0 "Management Guidelines" and Section 4.0 "Technical Guidelines" in this handbook follow the organization and numbering system of 17025, Handbook 143, and NIST Handbook 150 "National Voluntary Laboratory Accreditation Program (NVLAP) - Procedures and General Requirements" (2006) so that a laboratory (and assessors) can cross reference those standards. Also, some notes on laboratory safety are provided to provide a foundation for ensuring a safe working environment in an FQL. This basic information should be viewed only as an introduction to the subject and not as an exhaustive treatment of a model safety program. In addition to seeking the latest general guidance from state and federal safety officials, experts in laboratory safety and safe fuel handling procedures should be consulted.