NATA

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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »