NATA

Manual adjustments

Ah, the start of a new year. Our resolutions are still fresh and crispy (like the salads we’ve committed to eat more of this year…). We have new calendars and wall planners, just waiting for the imprints of our fabulous new year. But before you leap into the year ahead, there’s a couple of things …read more »

The 5 whys of ISO/IEC 17025

As any accredited lab will know, understanding ISO/IEC 17025 is a critical part of how your lab operates. From developing your quality manual to sending out reports to your customers, the process is clearly defined, simple to follow and easy to implement. Right? Well…judging by the number of ‘help with ISO/IEC 17025 courses’ available, maybe …read more »

50 Shades of….Measurement Uncertainty

Measurement Uncertainty. OK, we understand that this isn’t the sexiest of topics. In fact, it probably isn’t something that makes it through your front door, let alone into the bedroom! However, if you’re running a lab, Measurement Uncertainty (MU) is something you should know about in all its shades of grey. Let’s take a look …read more »

How do you build a framework for business success?

No business has ever regretted implementing standards for improvement. A quality management system is put in place because you want to deliver on the expectations of your customers. Get this right, deliver your goods or services according to expectations while remaining compliant with regulations, and you have a recipe for business success. A quality management …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 »

Risky Business – risk management for labs

We know that businesses often walk a tightrope between what must be done and what’s possible with the tools and resources they have available. This includes implementing risk management processes. Labs face a particular set of challenges with compliance and maintaining accreditation while still remaining competitive and viable. We’ve put together this list of hints …read more »

November is NATA’s cutoff for ISO/IEC 17025:2017 transition – are you ready?

November 2020 marks NATA’s cutoff for transition to ISO/IEC 17025:2017. While the majority of labs have made alterations to their processes, it seems timely to re-visit what changed in this version. Many organisations  base their business decisions on information and results provided by laboratories. It is critical that the sampling, testing and calibration activities carried out …read more »

Putting together the Measurement Uncertainty puzzle

We hear it from laboratories all the time (quite often accompanied by an eye-roll or a groan!). Measurement Uncertainty (MU) is something that laboratories do because they have to. Because ISO 17025 and ISO 15189 say so. And, of course, because NATA says so. Every measurement is subject to some uncertainty. That’s why the MU process …read more »

5 Top Tips – how to prepare for remote assessments

The move to carrying out lab assessments remotely has been sudden, with little time for transition. However, considering the cost and time savings, carrying out assessments this way could become the new normal. Maree Stuart, Principal of MAS Management Systems, recently went through this process with one of our clients and shares her experiences. “With …read more »

Staying Alive through the Corona crisis

Will your laboratory business be staying alive during the Coronavirus crisis? The news is full of doom and gloom and there’s a lot of uncertainty about the future. People are clearly wanting control and going into survival mode, as the ‘toilet paper wars’ visibly demonstrate. If you fail to plan, you plan to fail and …read more »

Are Calibrations Worth the Money?

Breaking news! The Guardian says “The only uncertainty is how long we’ll last”. Clearly they have not heard about the MAS MU for Testing Labs workshop. Register now as places are filling fast!    

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 »

Corrective action under the microscope

Are your laboratory’s problems prone to re-surface over and over again? Are you spending most of your valuable time and resources tackling a recurring problem in preparation for an audit? You may be convinced that your answers are ‘THE’ solutions to the problems identified in your lab. But perhaps it’s time you took a closer …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 »

ISO 17025:2017 transitions made easy

  ISO 17025:2017. You can see it looming ahead of you. You vaguely know that there’s some change you have to grapple with. Or you might have already been through an assessment to the new standard. The question is, how do you conquer the NATA ISO 17025:2017 beast? You know, the Titanic hit the iceberg not …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 »

Time to take a close look at ISO 17025

  The progress with updating ISO 17025 has taken a big step forward with the release of a draft for comment. NATA has made the draft document available for comment. The proposed revisions incorporate the requirements of ISO 9001:2015. This takes a risk management approach to management systems. It also calls for a review and analysis …read more »

How to make NATA happy about your calibrations

The NATA equipment tables might be on their way out! Who will tell me how often to check my gizmo? You’ve been minding your own business and just doing as NATA says to do for equipment calibrations for years.  Now they tell you that you might have to work out your own calibration frequencies and ‘prove’ that they are suitable. To …read more »