ISO 17025

ISO/IEC 17025 – where does your lab get stuck?

It’s no longer the ‘new’ version of the Standard. But when the 2017 version of ISO/IEC 17025 was released there was quite a bit of anxiety about the changes and how they should be implemented. This was particularly the case for NATA accredited labs whose first assessment visits after the standard was implemented were sometimes …read more »

NATA accreditation – do you really need it? 

We all know that lab owners and managers have plenty to do and lots to think about. Juggling the daily needs of the business can be enough to fill your day. Setting aside time to make long term plans feels like a luxury you can’t afford. So perhaps you’ve been thinking that if you didn’t …read more »

There’s a fraction too much friction

Ever since caveman days we’ve relied on others to ensure positive outcomes. Heading out on your own to grab a mammoth because you felt like a steak would have ended in a swift and probably painful death. Being on Zoom or Teams meetings means we’ve forgotten all our colleagues’ little quirks. As we’re slowly emerging …read more »

Getting to the root of the problem

It’s Friday morning and as you walk out of your front door, you look up and think what a beautiful day it is. The overnight rain has left the air crisp and fresh. Stepping out onto the path, your foot slips on wet leaves and you feel yourself falling. You put your hand out to …read more »

Management reviews – are you doing them properly?

Once you’ve completed your assessment visit, you may feel like you can take a deep breath and rest on your laurels for a while. And this is absolutely true. You certainly can do this. For at least a couple of hours. Because once you’ve waved goodbye to your NATA assessment team and closed the door, …read more »

Is your NATA accreditation in danger?

We’ve written previously about your quality system. We’ve addressed training and internal auditing and how to be sure your QMS is up to scratch. But we also know that sometimes things can start to go wrong in a lab. And these are things that could lead to a lot of issues in your next assessment …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 »

Show me the records!

At MAS, we’ve been part of and carried out hundreds of NATA assessments. It doesn’t take long before you start to see a pattern. You begin to see the same issues emerging and learn just where a lab is going to come unstuck. Labs know that preparing for their assessment is critical. But labs are …read more »

Does your lab have a disaster plan?

You may have excellent systems in place. You and your staff work as safely as possible. But despite your precautions, there’s always a possibility that something may go horribly wrong. That’s why having a disaster plan in place is so important. While it may not be a specific requirement of ISO standards it will add …read more »

The Star Wars guide to good practice in a lab

There so much ‘stuff’ that goes on in a lab. People are busy, they’ve got important jobs to do. And all these questions and requirements about compliance and needing information and good practice! Honestly, what’s the point? That’s why you need information from someone who has presence. Someone with authority and The Force to back …read more »

Temperature Controls achieves NATA accreditation!

It took just over two years, but on 10 August 2021, Temperature oControls were thrilled to finally be granted NATA accreditation! Considering the restrictions placed on businesses during The Time of Covid, this achievement is even more noteworthy. The beginnings Temperature oControls began in 1988, originally focussing on producing temperature and level sensors for industrial …read more »

Let’s talk about NATA accreditation

Our guidance document Navigating the NATA accreditation maze was written to provide an overview of the NATA accreditation process. However, we thought that a little more detail would be helpful if you’re looking to start down this path. And for those labs already holding NATA accreditation, there’s some hints for you as well. Know your …read more »

5 TOP TIPS for presenting Measurement Uncertainty

Eccentric business owners. Cantankerous managers. Agitated lab staff. Confused clients. As consultants, we’ve seen it all (well most of it anyway…). However, by far the most consistent issue we’ve come across is confusion about measurement uncertainty (MU). Often, a business will approach us after an accreditation body (AB) such as NATA has rejected their MU …read more »

Impartiality: passing the Pub Test

If you’ve been keeping up with the news, you’ll have noticed quite a stir about the Federal Government’s program for funding of commuter carparks. Under the Urban Congestion Fund (UCF), established in the 2018–19 Budget, the Commonwealth sought to ‘support projects to remediate pinch points, improve traffic safety and increase network efficiency for commuter and …read more »

How to keep NATA happy

We know you’re busy. For business owners or managers, there’s always plenty of juggling to be done. And with Covid restrictions thrown into the mix, you’d be forgiven for thinking that keeping an Accreditation Body happy is the last thing on your mind! However, we also know that keeping your business processes and procedures up …read more »

The role of perverse incentives

During the time of British rule in India, the government became concerned about the number of cobras in Delhi. To reduce this problem, the government offered a bounty for every dead cobra and initially, the program was wildly successful. Large numbers of snakes were killed for the reward and the government took a moment to …read more »

Preparing for your assessment

You’ve received the notification. Your assessment is coming up in two weeks and the team will be arriving at 8:30am on the day. Deep cleansing breaths. With a bit of preparation, assessment day may not be a breeze, but you’ll definitely feel in control. Being prepared shows your assessment team that your organisation is professional …read more »

NEW (FINANCIAL) YEAR RESOLUTIONS

Happy New Year!! While a new financial year probably won’t see you popping champagne and singing Auld Lang Syne (unless you moonlight as an Accountant) it’s still an important time of year. For those very organised folks who regularly scan and file their receipts and make notes about expenses, end of financial year tax returns …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 »

World first accreditation for Vecta!

It took a river of coffee, reams of paper and four years of hard work but in March 2021, Vecta Pty Ltd were delighted to finally be granted accreditation to ISO/IEC 17025! The accredited electrical test methods are in Passive RF and Microwave Devices; intermodulation level measurement (PIM); Return Loss (uniformity of impedance) and Insertion …read more »

Solving your communication breakdown

Quality communication: A recent article in the Sydney Morning Herald highlighted the plight of the critically endangered regent honeyeater. It seems that the male birds are either forgetting their birdsong, singing an abbreviated version, or beginning to mimic the songs of other birds. Since the females don’t recognise these songs they’re not matching with males. …read more »

The road to high performance in sustainability

We believe in seeking out information and 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. So we’re reaching out to our network of experts and asking for their perspectives …read more »

How did THAT happen??

There are some things you never want to hear. Words like “uh oh” from your hairdresser when they’re standing behind you during a haircut. Or “I’ve never seen THAT before” when your doctor is looking at an x-ray. Or perhaps a guilty-looking family member asking, “How much did you like that (extremely valuable fragile item) …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 »

Why should you pay for online training courses?

It seems that everyone is a training expert these days. In fact, with so many free online training courses available, you’re probably asking yourself ‘Why should I pay for online training courses?’ Well, here are 6 reasons: It’s convenient We like to find the easy road, the path of least resistance. Fast food, quick service, …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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

The truth is out there

Our social media feeds are filling up with the doom and gloom of celebrities and musicians we lost in 2016. The world has also experienced some tumultuous events through the likes of Brexit, Trump and the long-running war in Syria. But it’s been a great year for science, with some important discoveries and insights into …read more »