In September’s post, we talked about the purpose of accreditation and common questions laboratories have concerning accreditation. This month we are going to highlight the benefits.
During the busy season in the construction industry, it’s easy to brush off ‘non-essential’ activities like the management and maintenance of a quality management system, thinking, “I’ll catch up or get to it later.” The purpose of having a quality management system in place is to systematically follow processes and procedures in production and testing to assure a standard of quality control.
Benefits of accreditation (just to name a few)
Credibility is arguably the most important factor when it comes to laboratory accreditation. If your company is bidding on work, the very first question that will be asked in most cases is, “is your laboratory accredited?”
Accreditation by its nature creates industry oversight by following quality standards (AASHTO R18 for example) set forth by the accreditation bodies within the construction materials industry.
By maintaining accreditation for your laboratory you earn the reputation of a quality and well-respected operation.
By maintaining accreditation for your laboratory, both you and your customer maintain a much higher and consistent level of confidence in your work and the end product.
In the process of maintaining your QMS, you can quickly identify and correct bad testing practices and, thereby, continue to improve your processes and procedures.
Proving the technical competence of your laboratory to perform specific types of testing: measurement, calibration and other specific procedures as outlined in the AASHTO and ASTM Quality Standards.
Receiving formal recognition by an accreditation body by meeting specific AASHTO and ASTM quality standards.
Staying current with trends and issues within the industry is a key factor that is often overlooked.
The ability to bid on projects and new business. This will play a big role in your company’s success if your laboratory is accredited by a well-respected accreditation body.
Potentially receive more favorable insurance premiums for your company.
Potentially reduce the risk of litigation by maintaining a Quality Management System in place with accreditation oversight.
These are just a few of the benefits of laboratory accreditation. Please visit AASHTO re:source for more information that will lead you down the path of getting started.
Q: Can I input data that is generated from our lab; is R18LabQMS designed for this?
A: The short answer is, no. R18LabQMS is designed for the management of your quality management system following the guidelines of AASHTO R18, a requirement of accreditation. However, you can add custom sections within the quality manual tab, add content or add multiple files as a placeholder for any content/test to meet your specific requirements.
Once you work through the setup process, the following links can be found in the lower right-hand corner of the application.
Getting started with R18LabQMS and what we provide regarding training, both virtual and onsite. Before we dive into the options available, getting started happens within the setup process, it’s intuitive and follows the sections that require procedures within the management and technical sections. Each section within the setup process corresponds to sections in AASHTO R18. You can either type in the procedure itself or upload a file with the details of the procedure. I always tell labs during a demo it’s much like a “Turbo Tax” experience.
Once you have completed the setup process, or wish to move on to the dashboard view, just click save progress and exit setup. It’s straightforward and intuitive.
Additional Training needed to jump-start the onboarding process:
We target a specific area for training and limit the time to one hour. An example would be adding Equipment Procedures to your Equipment. There is no charge for virtual training limited to one hour.
We spend one day in your laboratory to review all aspects of your quality manual and take a deep dive into R18labQMS implementation. This training is fee-based, please inquire.
Upcoming Meetings and Sponsorship We will soon be Attending:
Raleigh, NC, November 15-17, 2022
Please check out our most recent promotional R18LabQMS video.
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 laboratory.
One last favor to ask, if there is a specific topic of discussion you would like to see in upcoming blog posts, please send us a note.
R18LabQMS Program Manager