Keeping up

In a recent blog post, we talked about assessment preparation and the impact it will have after the assessor completes their findings on the final report. What makes the process go smoothly is not only the preparation prior to the on-site assessment, but just simply keeping up and reviewing each month.

One of the features with on the R18LabQMS application that assists the user in maintaining their QMS is the “QM completion progress” within the management and technical section as listed in AASHTO R18. Let’s review.

On the dashboard, you will find a link named “incomplete sections (#)” indicating the number that needs attention along with a progress bar with a % complete. If your QMS has incomplete sections listed you will then be able to click that section/link that will take you directly to your QM giving you the opportunity to complete that section.

A few notes on this feature

There is no minimum (content) requirement for any given section to indicate a “completed section.” Example; if a user used just one word or sentence as a procedure, which would satisfy the system requirement as being completed but may not meet the standard requirements. It’s ultimately the responsibility of the lab to have completed information and content that’s required by AASHTO R18.

Equipment inventory on the % completion progress does not come into play mainly because there is no minimum number of equipment required in the standard; this is driven by areas of accreditation and equipment required to perform those tests.

Let’s review

Requirements and what the assessor is looking for regarding completing procedures within your QM can often be somewhat subjective. The first and foremost guidance is to follow the AASHTO R18 standard; then follow best practices and provide the most complete and comprehensive information possible. We have seen laboratories provide one word/sentences for procedures. That doesn’t work!


AASHTO re:source is having their 2nd Annual Technical Exchange in San Diego, CA March 12-15, 2018. This is important for all laboratories with accreditation.

Areas of discussion will be:
• Application of calibration data
• Corrective action
• Internal audit
• Lab Manager 101
• Management review
• Measurement uncertainty
• Technician certification
• Thermometry

User questions

Please keep these coming, more coming next month!


R18LabQMS YouTube Channel

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”

– Gary Irvine