ISO 9001

7 tips for choosing the right training partner

You always have a choice when it comes to who you partner with for training   Listen up, because I’m about to lay down some truth. When it comes to education and professional training, you’ve got a choice. You can settle for the run-of-the-mill, cookie-cutter programs that promise the moon but deliver a flickering star, …read more »

5 steps to risk management success

No doubt you’ve read through the ISO/IEC 17025, ISO 15189, and ISO 17020 standards plenty of times and you’ve seen an increased emphasis on risk management. Some of these requirements have been in place for 5 years!   These requirements mean you look at risks in a more formalised and strategic way. Having a risk …read more »

Problem solving: When Honesty is the best policy

  What happens when a management system to identify the causes of problems fails? Over Christmas, shoppers in Japan had an unexpected experience. Several hundred customers who ordered the “strawberry frill shortcake” later complained the cake had arrived damaged.   In response to complaints, the Department Store issued the following statement:   “We sincerely apologise …read more »

The Quality – Value Link

written by Maree Stuart Himeji Castle I’ve been fortunate to visit several World Heritage sites over the past couple of weeks. Places like Hiroshima, Himeji Castle, the Palace of Versailles and Berlin’s Museum Island. I’ve also watched Oppenheimer in that same period. What’s the link between these things and why would I be writing about them …read more »

Can you rely on your suppliers?

written by Maree Stuart We’ve all been disappointed by our suppliers from time to time, especially in times of supply chain constraints. Imagine being the CEO of the Commonwealth Games Federation a couple of days ago. You’re quietly minding your own business, basking in the last rays of glory that was Birmingham 2022 and looking forward …read more »

Quality Control: When doing your best is not good enough

written by Maree Stuart I recently came across a process that went along like this: Team completes an activity Quality control by review of records and report by a supervisor Quality control by review of the records and report by a technical manager Quality control by review of the records and report by a committee of …read more »

Risk Management in 5 steps

written by Maree Stuart No doubt you’ve read through the ISO/IEC 17025, ISO 9001, or ISO 15189 standards plenty of times and you’ve seen an increased emphasis on risk-based thinking. We’ve written articles previously about risk management and discussed how the requirements need you to look at risks in a more formalised and strategic way. Since …read more »

6 Accreditation Basics you might not know

written by Maree Stuart   World Accreditation Day falls on 9th June each year. It was established by the International Accreditation Forum/ International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation Joint General Assembly in 2007 to mark the importance of accreditation in conformity assessment. This year’s theme is Accreditation: Supporting the Future of Global Trade and focuses on how accreditation …read more »

5 ways to deal with Complaints

written by Maree Stuart Oh Alan, I would give everything, not to be like him.   Would you want to be Alan Joyce right now? He’s the butt of many jokes, including this one from The Shovel:     With QANTAS seen to be the stand-out performer in poor customer service and failures to respond to …read more »

Total Control

written by Maree Stuart Would you sell your soul for total control like Martha Davis in The Motels? Sadly, your documentation system isn’t just a ‘set and forget’. They require reviewing, updating and managing to ensure they’re accurate, up-to-date, and available. And that’s where a document control system comes in. A good system allows your documents …read more »

I’m a natural-born leader

written by Maree Stuart It’s a thing you might hear from applicants for jobs in your workplace, “I am a natural-born leader”. And it’s a statement that is rarely questioned as you nod sagely. We can debate the accuracy of this statement along the lines of nature versus nurture. But that’s not what is actually important. …read more »

Quality in the Spotlight

written by Maree Stuart Getting the basics right I’m sure if someone asked you what did “Quality” entail, you’d have a list of things that are done. Some of those things might be drawn from topics and requirements that appear in Standards like ISO 17025, ISO 15189, ISO 17020 and ISO 9001. Some of them might …read more »

Happy World Quality Week!

written by Maree Stuart It’s World Quality Week and this year’s theme is “Quality Conscience: Doing the right thing”. It’s a good opportunity to pause for thought. What does it mean to act with a “Quality Conscience”? Our conscience is our moral sense of right and wrong. We develop this from birth, with influence from our …read more »

The Lab Manager Conversations part seven – Quality

We’ve been speaking to lab managers and leaders about their roles and their challenges. These conversations have been collated into a series of articles that will probably resonate not only with lab leaders, but those across other businesses as well. While their pathways may have been somewhat different, all our respondents have clocked up well …read more »

Navigating the 7 Cs of communication

Every day we need to communicate. And whether it’s grunts from teenagers or the long, winding conversations we have with old friends, we also need to interpret what’s being said. Effective communication in the workplace is critical. Management is often judged by the quality of communications with the rest of the organisation. Teams judge their …read more »

Marvin’s Guide to Quality – part one

written by Maree Stuart In the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Marvin the Paranoid Android is a robot and has a ‘brain the size of a planet’, but he is seldom asked to use this capability. Instead, people ask him to perform simple tasks, like opening doors and picking up pieces of paper. Back in the …read more »

Protecting your lab from today’s bandits

written by Maree Stuart 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. However, he famously insisted that the two …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 »

What’s a quality management system and do you need it?

According to the American Society for Quality website a quality management system (QMS) is defined as: ‘…a formalized system that documents processes, procedures, and responsibilities for achieving quality policies and objectives. A QMS helps coordinate and direct an organization’s activities to meet customer and regulatory requirements and improve its effectiveness and efficiency on a continuous …read more »