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 perhaps 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 because they could not see the iceberg but because they could not change direction. So how about a change of direction? Start early and if needed enlist the help of professionals! Here are 5 simple steps to help you to comply with the new standard.
Where to start
There are some things in your arsenal that can help you get through this change. The first thing you should do is to read the new version of ISO 17025:2017. Don’t leave it to the last minute to purchase and read this document. While you’re at it, you should also make sure you have the complete set of new NATA documents which sets out what you have to deal with in terms of NATA’s expectations.
Get familiar with what NATA is expecting
You might have already seen NATA’s Gap Analysis Guidance document, which includes commentary on what’s new and what’s changed. It’s a good place to start. You can see what you need to do and start to develop an action plan to address the changes. Lab managers and owners can be worried about how much work there is to do to even just complete the gap analysis, let alone coming up with an action plan and finishing everything that has to be done. If you start early, it need not be such an overwhelming chore, but if you think you need a hand with this then we can talk about your challenges and work out if we can help you.
Improve your knowledge
One of the other things in your arsenal is your staff and their knowledge of the changes. Getting everyone to understand what’s new can be a particularly big challenge. It’s good to get your staff involved in coming to grips with the changes and sometimes mentoring and training can help.
Decide what you need to change and what can stay the same
A good gap analysis is important in this step. You need to be objective and make sure you can actually rise up to the challenge of really addressing the changes. Doing a half-hearted job can lead to problems in the future. Sometimes getting a fresh set of eyes over your system can help.
Doing a half-hearted job can lead to problems in the future.
Ask for help!
Working in a laboratory can sometimes be isolating and you don’t get the chance to talk to peers outside of your workplace. You don’t need to do it all by yourself. If you’re involved in a professional network of laboratory people, then use the network to get some ideas. And sometimes you just need to get some professional help to get the job done efficiently and effectively without the stress. That’s where we can help. Contact us if you need help with getting a gap analysis done, filling in NATA’s transition table or getting your system up to standard.