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UKAS incubator calibration: an overview of calibrating your laboratory incubator to UKAS standards

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Alex Henderson

Aston Business School graduate who has been the Managing Director of Henderson Biomedical since January 2015. Passionate about helping laboratories keep their vital equipment operational and compliant. Architecture enthusiast, fitness fanatic and dog lover!

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A UKAS incubator calibration may be needed as part of your ISO accreditation such as ISO 15189:2012, ISO 17025:2017 or ISO 13485:2016. It may also be needed to satisfy other accreditation bodies or just for your own peace-of-mind. But what is UKAS incubator calibration?  Indeed, what exactly are you getting when you pay for a UKAS incubator calibration as opposed to a standard one?

In this month’s blog, we take a closer look at calibrating your laboratory incubator to UKAS standards. Read on to learn more.

What is UKAS incubator calibration?

When we talk about calibrating laboratory incubators, we usually mean calibrating its temperature. That is, you may want to verify the accuracy of the temperature that your instrument is displaying. There are other parameters that you may want to calibrate instead of or in addition to temperature, such as CO₂ or time.

When choosing to calibrate your incubator, you have two choices:

  • Standard (Traceable)

This is where a single reading is taken with an independently calibrated measuring device such as a thermometer.

  • UKAS (ISO 17025)

This is when an several readings are taken over a period of time with an independently calibrated measuring device in line with ISO 17025 guidelines.

UKAS is the United Kingdom Accreditation Service and is the only organisation in the UK that can authorise calibrations to ISO 17025. If an organisation is UKAS accredited, then it is able to perform calibrations on behalf of UKAS.

UKAS is very strict about what a company can calibrate. A full list of devices will be found on the company’s schedule. If you are looking for UKAS incubator calibration, you must first check the company’s schedule to see if they are authorised to perform UKAS calibrations on incubators. This can be found on the UKAS website. Henderson Biomedical’s Accreditation Schedule can be found here.

The schedule will also detail what parameters the company can calibrate, such as temperature, time or CO₂.  Furthermore, it will specify the range and Measurement of Uncertainty (MoU) of the calibration.  For example, the company may be able to calibrate the temperature of your incubator between the temperatures of 0°C to 50°C with a MoU of +/- 1.5°C.

What is involved in a UKAS incubator calibration?

As already mentioned, a UKAS incubator calibration involves several readings being taken over a period of time with an independently calibrated measuring device, such as a thermometer. This measuring device will be calibrated externally by a UKAS approved centre at least once a year. The calibration is carried out in a very specific way, so that it meets the requirements of ISO 17025.

In addition to this, UKAS have not only assessed the calibration procedure, but that have also assessed:

  • The person performing the calibration
  • The uncertainties associated with the calibration
  • The equipment used to perform the calibration
  • The company performing the calibration

In short, a UKAS calibration says that everything has been taken care of by a competent company. Therefore, the results that are obtained by doing a UKAS incubator calibration are more meaningful.

How Henderson Biomedical can help

Henderson Biomedical is able to carry out UKAS incubator calibration at your site, no matter where you are located in the UK. We have a team of Field Service Engineers who are assessed every year by UKAS that can come to your laboratory, at a time convenient to you and perform a UKAS incubator calibration. We are also able to provide you with new equipment, should your existing laboratory incubator need replacing.

For more information on how we can help you with your laboratory incubator needs, please call our team on 020 8663 4610 or alternatively, you can contact us via our online form.

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