The ISO/IEC 17025 Accreditation is a crucial process in which a department should work towards achieving it successfully with the help and support from management. Before the assessment process, the lab might have to do some inspection and quality control on their own if they’ll want to pass. The management and quality department should be fully aware and clear of the state and quality of the systems. They should know the needed changes and to be made in the areas that don’t meet the quality required in passing the accreditation. The required modifications might concern employees who have worked and established themselves in the existing working system. The success of the accreditation dramatically relies on the support that the management will give and the initial quality assessment by the quality department before the actual accreditation process begins.
An excellent example of successfully passing the assessment due to proper planning and management support is the accreditation of the McCrone Associate Inc. The McCrone Associate Inc. is a laboratory that analyzes investigative material and who in 2012 started the assessment of quality management systems to meet the criteria required for the accreditation. Laboratory’s need to pursue the process was hastened by a client who gave the accreditation as a requirement of working with the lab. The process of self -assessment by management and quality department included monthly meetings that were set to track the progress of made changes, review plans, and discuss changes and challenges. The assessment for the accreditation started in 2014, and McCrone Associates Inc. was successful and accredited.
To achieve the level of success in accreditation that was completed by the McCrone associate Inc., the management should be aware of the part every department should play. The administration should understand specific aspects that may affect the assessment process and ultimately, the success of the lap in acquiring the accreditation. Some of these aspects may include additional resources needed by the department during the self-assessment such as funds and the responsibilities that the technical stuff and quality department are expected to partake. Acquiring accreditation might affect the existing service by increasing the cost. The management must make sure that their clients understand the importance of being an accredited lab — finally tips on ensuring that the ISO 17025 Accreditation runs smoothly.
1. Management has to have an in-depth understanding of tasks and commitment.
The first step in the plan of self-assessment is developing a checklist of elements that should be inspected. The list will see to identifying problems that should be addressed and the intensity of them. To properly handle these changes in the existing systems, the management should divide the issues into three categories. The categories are according to the intensity of the problem, for example, minor changes, significant changes, and real gaps. Once the checklist is done, the quality department can finally delegate tasks to staff members. The company staff may be able to handle minor changes in systems, while more complex changes require additional resources. The resource includes hiring qualified personnel from the quality department. The project plan should have specific details that management should be aware of such as;
• Working hours of the staff members working on the items on the checklist.
• Any additional resources that are required for the completion of the project in progress.
• Changes in management and areas where control is needed to take ever and make changes.
Part of the internal assessment is budgeting, but there might be requirements for additional monitory resources. These other resources are to cater for upgrading systems and software that need changes. Training of stuff on set standards required for systems to be approved for accreditation and buying of material with more information on quality systems. Regular meetings by management are essential to tracK and discuss the progress or changes that may need to be made. Keeping a record of the tasks already achieved or milestones made will keep the management more committed, and the staff motivated.
2. Create a clear plan for the management of the changes for the stuff
Involving staff on system changes will help them make a smooth transition from the systems they are familiar with. The team should be committed from the beginning of the process, not just throw the change at them to adjust, as this will only make them confused and demotivated in the long run. Help the staff understand the importance of changes and the ISO process. The team should know how it helps make their work easier and brings more benefits to the business, which in turn benefits them. Involving the staff in the change process will include getting their input in the matter and updating them in the process and progress. The stuff will get a sense of worth in the project and see that the assessment and accreditation process runs without a hitch. The management must create an open line of communication between the staff and them. This line of discussion targeted at providing an outlet to concerns of changes in the system, learning new methods and changes in how they give service to clients. Training is a crucial step in helping the stuff keep anxiety over changes at bay.
3. Make sure that your clientele understand the importance of accreditation
It is crucial that during the accreditation process, there is no assumption that your clients understand the concern. You should give information to clients who do not understand the accreditation process. Help them understand the importance and how it helps them through marketing and training. For the clientele that already knows and understands the standards required or accreditation the company going through the process should make their clients aware that they are going through the process of certification. When McCrone Associates Inc. went through the accreditation process, they did not put out information to their clients as it was assumed. Assuming that your clients know about the accreditation and the requirements as McCrone did should not be an example to other companies as it might not work as well as it did.
Just like any other project, proper management, staff training and excellent execution of the project plan will see the success of the accreditation process. Smooth transition of your staff and even your clientele into the new and improved changed systems should be your goal from the beginning of the process to the successful finish.