Certification

Protecting your lab from today’s bandits

You might remember the famous case where David Bowie and Queen took Vanilla Ice (or Robert Van Winkle as he is legally known) to court for copyright infringement of their song ‘Under Pressure’. Van Winkle had quite clearly sampled the classic bassline to Under Pressure. He famously insisted that the two melodies were different because …read more »

Is Quality still the key to success?

If someone were to ask whether your business had a Quality focus, how would you answer? Would it be an enthusiastic, “Well of course! Quality is at the core of everything we do!” Or would it be more like, “Sure. We’ve got that document thingy we follow. We put it in a glass cabinet, so …read more »

YOUR LAB’S REPORT CARD – ARE YOU ‘FUTURE PROOF’?

It’s a new school term and that means it won’t be long before students receive their next report card. If your lab were to receive a report card, how do you think you’d do? Hopefully it won’t look like this! When it comes to labs, you already know it’s important to stay on top of …read more »

Risk appetite – how hungry are you?

When we think of risk and risk management, we often first ponder how we get rid of it. Indeed, in the COVID-19 Pandemic, many Australians, and governments, have shown themselves to be a very risk-averse lot! In contrast, some have shown themselves to be really tolerant of health risks in comparison with perceived economic risk. …read more »

Making your internal audits meaningful not mediocre

Evidence of auditing has been discovered dating from the fourth millennium BC. Scribes in Mesopotamia kept records on clay tablets, some of which showed tiny marks beside the figures. These dots, ticks and circles indicate that checking of the records had been done. While we still use tablets today, generally they’re the electronic kind (if …read more »

Changing your mind about risk management

“Opportunity and risk come in pairs” Bangambiki Habyarimana, The Great Pearl of Wisdom Risk isn’t a chore to wade through a few times a year. As the quote above says, it can be something positive and goes hand-in-hand with opportunities. Many different companies share similar risks, like a poor economic outlook over the short-term (well, …read more »

Shhh it’s a secret – confidentiality in the lab

We’ve all heard the expression knowledge is power. In the hands of cybercriminals, knowledge is also big business. In a lab setting, it’s understood that keeping information safe and secure is in the best interests of clients and your business. If you hold accreditation or certification, it’s also a requirement of the standard. ISO standards …read more »

Quality: A balancing act

We believe in seeking out and sharing ideas that will support your business to be better and smarter. Different perspectives on quality and business practices may provoke conversations in your workplace that lead to new and better ways of doing things. We reached out to our network of experts and asked for their perspectives on …read more »

A trio of quality thinkers

Anyone who has ever been involved in quality or project management would have heard the names Deming, Juran and Crosby. Their contributions have had long lasting ramifications and made us all think differently about what quality is, what it means and how to achieve it. We’ll be running a series of articles all about quality …read more »

Resistance is futile: how to ace your internal audit

We all know the feeling when an external assessment is coming up. The scurrying search for documents, the interminable hours of scanning, the crossing of eyes and slurping of teas… But what about internal audits? Your colleagues do these. They’re all on your side so you’re bound to get a free pass on some of …read more »

Are you using this simple risk management tool?

Risk management. It’s a hot topic right now. There are 1.3 billion (that’s 1,330,000,000) entries on risk management that appear in a simple Google search. Risk can be anywhere, from the minute we wake up in the morning until our eyes close at night. We inhabit a world full of risk and uncertainty and have …read more »

Your Guide to Reading Standards and Finding Loop Holes

The laboratory shall, if relevant, to the extent necessary, maintain records of competence to read standards. Understood? Deciphering these kinds of phrases in standards is not easy. Learning to read and understand them is like learning a new language. But once you get the hang of it, a whole new world of interpretation opens up. …read more »

What to expect when you’re expecting….a NATA audit

So you’re facing a NATA audit and it’s being done to the new 17025. You’ve probably read various bits and pieces online that have given you an idea about the significant changes. An ISO 9001-friendly structure, new emphasis on impartiality, confidentiality and customer complaints, decision rules, and a lot of stuff about risk management. A …read more »

Design your Lab to be Future-Ready!

In my work, I come across lots of laboratories wanting to improve the design and space in which they work. Let’s face it, improvement is not just about documents! Where do you go to get some professional advice on this important improvement project? ‘Laboratory Architect’ is a very niche profession. It makes sense though – …read more »

3 more ways to make your management system work for you

In my last article, I talked about how you can take steps to simplify your management system. But as a true systems expert, I like to deal with the root cause of a complex problem. The other cause of the creation of a management system is a failure to critically analyse feedback from auditors and …read more »

3 easy steps – make your management system work for you

Many organisations have a quality (or environment, or safety) management system. If you’re in one of these organisations, then I bet you’ve sometimes felt like the system rules your life, rather than you ruling the system. How did it get to be this way? More importantly, how can you change it? It probably got to …read more »