Accreditation News

Behind the scenes: how our clients make the world a safer place

With World Accreditation Day highlighting the theme of safety this year, we want to celebrate the incredible work our clients are doing behind the scenes. From ensuring the reliability of rail infrastructure to safeguarding food production, these business remind us what accreditation is all about.

As an accreditation specialist, it’s no surprise that I have developed a portfolio of specialists as my clients. I am often struck by the fact that these specialists are keeping us safe in ways that most of us are not even aware of.
On the road
Did you know that there are sensors that detect light levels and adjust the light at tunnel entrances so that you don’t slow down as you approach and cause traffic problems?  Or that traffic lights are tested to make sure that when the sun shines on them they don’t appear to be on when they’re actually not?  There are some very special people at Steve Jenkins & Associates who do this and a whole array of other tests involving photometric measurements. Having accreditation means that we can all be sure that SJ&A don’t just get to have fun using their physics knowledge at work, but produce results that are reliable, meaningful and can be used by other scientists and engineers to ensure our safety.
Oil & gas, food and chemical processing
Whether it’s medical and industrial gases, steam, milk, petroleum or grain being processed, valves are used to control the flow and provide pressure release in the case of dangerous pressure build-up. In every application the valve design, trim and construction must suit the fluid in the pipelines, both chemically and physically. The valve must also be able to withstand certain pressures, and release at the correct pressure […]

By |June 10th, 2018|Accreditation News, ISO 17025 Accreditation, NATA Accreditation|Comments Off on Behind the scenes: how our clients make the world a safer place

How Safe is Your NATA Accreditation?

Danger ahead: warning signs for NATA Accredited Labs
 

 

When a lab has their NATA accreditation suspended, it usually comes as a huge shock.

But there are warning signs for poor assessment outcomes. You can determine whether there are issues that you should address before NATA arrives.
These are some of the red flags noticable in laboratories that go on to have a poor assessment outcome or have their accreditation suspended:
 
Senior technical staff have left and not been replaced.
 

The laboratory is chronically short-staffed . This may be due to illness or other unavoidable factors.

 

Business has expanded but staff-training and resources are lagging.  No time to train the front-line staff and update resources for quality management and internal audits.
 

Lots of phone calls from customers.
 

 Technical problems that everyone is aware of remain in the lab.
 

Staff  members are putting off internal audits due to busy schedules.
 

New NATA accreditation requirements, but keep delaying working out how they apply to them.
 

Quality-assurance systems spread too thinly: NATA accreditation covers many different labs, some of which managers have never seen. In some cases, they haven’t even met the staff members.
 

 Nobody knows where to find a copy of the last NATA assessment/surveillance report.
 

 Last but not least – if you have had the same NATA lead assessor for many years and now a new one is headed your way.
 

No one of these problems alone spells doom for your accreditation. But if you are saying “yes” to two or more of them, this is a warning sign that you need to slow right down and take stock.

 
How to protect your NATA accreditation 
Take stock and review
Some labs are caught off guard by a sudden suspension of their accreditation. Others may have had a fair idea that things were rough […]

By |February 23rd, 2018|Accreditation News, ISO 15189 Accreditation, ISO 17025 Accreditation, NATA Accreditation|Comments Off on How Safe is Your NATA Accreditation?