Being prepared and ready for an on-site assessment will ultimately save countless hours in responding to non-conformities after the assessment is long over. So, how do we prepare for this?
Maintaining your quality management system (QMS) is an ongoing process that must be managed monthly and not just before the assessor arrives. Being prepared starts with being familiar with the AASHTO R18 standard as it is the key to understanding each element and the requirements in the management and technical sections.
Many of the requirements outlined in the standard are procedures for reference only that don’t require ongoing action, but rather processes for laboratory personnel to follow in maintaining a standard of quality. A good example of this would be new employee training procedures. Reviews of procedures will need to be updated only as processes change within the laboratory.
In the case of laboratory equipment, ongoing cal/check/standard and maintenance procedures require closer attention to meet frequency requirements. This section can easily be overlooked if not managed well. The key to maintaining your QMS is to be intentional and have a process and a system in place.
R18LabQMS user questions
Q: Can I remove attached documents to a completed procedure that is a pdf?
A: No. Once a procedure is completed it is a permanent record that is created as a pdf file. The recommendation is to create an addendum that would supplement the completed procedure. The other option is to remove the procedure from the record then complete the procedure again with the correct attachments. Removing procedures are not recommended but can be done by going to the “Procedure History” tab on the left, select the category the equipment is located in and click the type of procedure. You will then see the “Remove” option in red (you will be asked “are you sure.”) Please proceed with caution as this will permanently remove the procedure record.
While there are several options when it comes to choosing an accreditation body, we will highlight newsworthy items as they come up.
AASHTO re:source has made a recent announcement:
We are excited to announce some big changes for the AASHTO Accreditation Program (AAP).
• New AASHTO accredited logo
• Redesigned certificate of accreditation
• Updated procedures manual and summary of changes posted to our website
• Printable certificates with full accreditation details
• Geographical search of the “Directory of AASHTO Accredited Labs”
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”.
2017 AASHTO Subcommittee on Materials meeting will be held in Phoenix, AZ.
Monday, August 7, 2017 – Thursday, August 10, 2017
Attending will be:
Zack McKay, R18LabQMS Software Analyst & Support
Mike Beavin, Asphalt Institute Technical Training Coordinator
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