Finally achieving “the holy grail” of NATA accreditation might be your resolution for 2018. Problem is, you don’t know where to start. You might have even started down the path of NATA accreditation and are stuck. And now you’ve heard there’s a new version of ISO 17025 and are worried you’ll have to start over! Maybe you already have accreditation and feel like you’re in a maze and there’s no way out. Maybe it’s simply that things need to change and you don’t know where to start! What should you do?
There are a few options that you can explore: either do it yourself, seek help from a consultant, or something in between. It all depends on your budget, internal resources, time and difficulty of dealing with the problem.
If you do it yourself, be prepared to invest a chunk of time and effort in developing, redesigning and implementing systems. You might be in the fortunate position of having staff who have taken on this project in the past. It’s important to factor in whether your time, or that of your staff, is better spent working in the business instead of on the business.
Buying “off the shelf” systems can be a helpful option if you know what you want to get out of your system and are prepared to put in some time to customise the generic information provided in these products. Sometimes the systems offered in these products are too complicated for your needs, or they may not quite suit how your lab has been set up. You might already have some documents and systems in place, but you have to buy the complete package which seems like a waste. You will need to weigh up the upfront costs of these products and how much it will take in terms of time and resources to make the system meet your needs and accreditation requirements.
Engaging a consultant to help you to work through the problem is a great option, especially if you are time-poor or have limited experience in accreditation. A consultant can bring loads of expertise and ideas for creating a system that will suit your needs. It need not be as expensive as you think: at MAS Management Systems, a simple gap analysis to give you a plan through the NATA Accreditation maze usually costs less than $1000. A consultant should also be able to provide you with just the services you need, whether it’s developing and writing documents, revamping your existing systems, providing training in accreditation requirements or conducting internal audits. At MAS Management Systems, we listen to your needs and assist you to identify where you need some extra help to achieve your goals.
If you’re not sure which way to go, we offer a free, confidential service to help you decide which way to turn. Contact us now to get some help!