Exxon Mobil Laboratory quality Standards
ExxonMobil has a long history of commitment to Quality leadership. In 1989, following guidance provided in ISO 25 (1978) “General requirements for the competence of calibration and testing laboratories”, Exxon Lubricants and Specialties introduced their Quality Practices and Guidelines (QP&G) standard addressing laboratory data quality. The guidance document identified the necessary elements of a
quality system that must be effectively implemented to ensure data quality and integrity. ISO 17025 (1999), the current international standard practice for laboratory quality, evolved from the original ISO 25 Guide.
More recently, ASTM D6792-07 “Standard Practice for Quality System in Petroleum Products and Lubricants Testing Laboratories” first released in 2002, was developed by an ASTM committee of Petroleum Industry experts including members from ExxonMobil. ExxonMobil’s QP&G standard is aligned with both ASTM D6792 and ISO 17025 and acknowledges the guiding principles referenced in the “Guidance on development, implementation and improvement of quality systems in petroleum laboratories” published by the Energy Institute (formerly the Institute of Petroleum, IP) in January 2010. Components of a quality system ExxonMobil operates modern laboratory facilities with
state-of-the-art instrumentation and Laboratory Information
ExxonMobil Laboratory Quality Standards Management Systems (LIMS) to record and report test data, and to track samples. In line with other quality assurance standards, QP&G recognizes that the key components of an effective quality system are:
• Management commitment
• Documentation of procedures and practices
• Document and record control
• Training and qualification of Staff
• Equipment validation, calibration and maintenance
• Measurement traceability
• Recordkeeping and reporting
• Quality System Assessments (Audits)
• Corrective and preventive actions
• Customer and product specifications
The successful incorporation of these quality system components in laboratories is essential to ensure the integrity and accuracy of product test data reported to customers.
Implementatian and Assessment ExxonMobil’s QP&G standard was initially implemented at the company’s lube oil blending and used oil testing facilities throughout the world. The standard is now used by all ExxonMobil affiliates to ensure data quality at over 600 company
quality control laboratories, toll blenders, third party suppliers and contract petroleum and environmental testing laboratories that
generate data on product and regulatory compliance. Laboratories are assessed for compliance with the ExxonMobil standard by an independent team of qualified ExxonMobil assessors. ISO 17025 versus ExxonMobil’s QP&G While both standards agree on the components of a quality system, they differ in their approach to application of the standard. Agencies that accredit laboratories to the ISO 17025 standard focus on the individual tests that the laboratory conducts and accredits each test separately. This can result in
misinterpretation of whether the entire lab or a limited number of tests conducted by the lab are within scope of the ISO 17025 accreditation. ExxonMobil’s QP&G standard covers all tests and also includes an additional focus on managing laboratory changes (e.g., change in test methods) as they can have a profound impact on the integrity and accuracy of test data, if they are poorly managed. ExxonMobil’s QP&G standard has been continuously improved over the twenty three years since it was first developed in 1989. Two significant items that have been incorporated into QP&G which are not currently included in ISO 17025 include a data integrity or ethics policy requirement and periodic
witnessing of testing conducted to ensure that testing does not deviate from the prescribed test method requirements.
An independent review of ExxonMobil’s QP&G versus ISO 17025 was conducted in 2007 by Ernst and Young at four separate ExxonMobil laboratories in Europe. Their conclusion was: “Based on our review nothing has come to our attention that causes us to believe that the QP&G Standard is not consistent with the EN ISO 17025:2005 requirements.” This confirms that ExxonMobil’s quality systems are favorably
recognized within the quality assurance community.
Contributors FL&S Global Laboratory Best Practices Advisor Global L&S Quality Manager EMBSI Quality Assurance Manager © 2006, 2012 Exxon Mobil Corporation
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used for convenience only and may refer to Exxon Mobil Corporation or one of its affiliates. Nothing in this material is intended to override the corporate separateness of local entities.
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