Technician training procedures and competency evaluations are key components to maintaining your QMS. All technical staff working in the laboratory and performing testing are required to be trained on the test methods and demonstrate competency for performing the test method. Technician training and evaluation may include any or all of the following; on the job training, formal in-house training or participation in outside professional training.
The laboratory is required to establish a specific training procedure for all technical staff to gain the required experience to competently perform testing that assures quality test results that follow test standards. Records of all technician training should be maintained and contain specific information regarding the trainer, trainee, test method and comments regarding the training and proficiency of the test.
Additionally, the laboratory is required to establish a specific procedure that routinely checks the competency of technical personnel for all testing performed by the individual. It’s important to note that competency must be performed by observation, similar to the way an assessor observes the technician during an on-site assessment.
Both the training records and the competency records are two separate documents and should be treated as such. Each record should have as a minimum the following information; test standards, date, evaluator and any comments.
Technicians with no experience are required to engage in a training program that can be performed in various ways as outlined in the AASHTO R18 standard. Technicians with prior experience are only required to have competency evaluations every 12 months, and with 6 years or more experience, every 24 months.
As always, it’s important to review the AASTHO R18 standard to be up-to-date with any detailed requirements and changes.
Managing technician evaluations with R18LabQMS
So let’s review how we create technician training or competency records. After logging in, click on the “Technician Evaluation” tab on the left hand side. There, you will have the option to click “New Technician Evaluation” or “Add Technician Certifications” for external training and from there you begin to create the desired record. In this process you will have the option of the type of record; initial (training) or recurrent (competency) record. After completing the all technician training records they will automatically be populated in section 5.5.4 of your quality manual.
Important to note that when the standard changes, we take a close look at how the application manages content.
Training and informational videos that include version updates, R18LabQMS demos and more.
R18LabQMS has a knowledge base accessible from the dashboard within the application, top right “help.”
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For all questions regarding your quality management system, whether your lab is accredited or not, please contact us and learn how R18LabQMS can add value to your company.
– Gary Irvine