Presentation on theme: "The Changing Assessment Process Graham Fews West midlands Regional Genetics Laboratory UKAS Technical Assessor."— Presentation transcript:
The Changing Assessment Process Graham Fews West midlands Regional Genetics Laboratory UKAS Technical Assessor
Disclaimer UKAS Technical Assessors do not offer consultancy. The views presented are my own and do not necessarily portray those of UKAS.
Bermuda triangle? Is the ISO process full of myth, mystery and misunderstanding? Assessors have ‘split roles’ – WMRGL, UKAS, NSHCS. If you go home with a more clear understanding of ISO the day will have been worthwhile.
Myth We are moving from CPA standards to ISO Not strictly true – CPA standards always referenced relevant clauses within ISO and other relevant Standards. The first assessment is a gap analysis. Not true - It is the laboratory’s responsibility to undertake the gap analysis.
Technical Assessors Peer Assessors have become Technical Assessors. Technical assessors are still critical to the success of the assessment process. Our role is to assess Technical Requirements and the clauses within. This does not mean we will not identify non- conformity within our clauses during our investigations.
All assessors undergo training in ISO All assessors are assessed for their competence in ISO assessment. UKAS themselves are also assessed. Quality is at the heart of the whole process.
Now… UKAS assessment under ISO uses assessment by ‘any means’ to get to the required end point. However; the process is considered more holistic. The majority of technical assessment is provided by witness audit. The initial assessments are generally long.
AC4 form Labs have to complete AC4 form. This provides the scope of testing that the laboratory is asking to be assessed against. Requires details of tests, sample types, key equipment and SOPs. Think about how you fill it in. If you are too specific any new testing may require an extension to scope.
This form is given to the Assessment Manager who will organise the assessment. The Assessment Manager contacts Technical Assessors to check availability. Technical Assessors do not know who the lab is until the visit has been confirmed.
Before the visit Labs will be asked to provide relevant information including key SOPs for assessors to review. Assessors read and prepare for the visit. UKAS include this assessor preparation time in the calculation of visits.
During the visit The assessor team will arrive and have a welcome meeting with key staff. There is no requirement for a closing meeting each day. Assessors will assess each area within the scope of assessment. Findings will be fed back as soon as possible to enable labs to decide what action will be taken.
Non-conformities Previously non-conformities were given for each part of an examination where appropriate. Under ISO the aim is to identify the specific cause that has occurred. Assessors use more of a route cause model in the assessment process.
Be prepared! In general the holistic nature leads to a friendly, open assessment. Think ahead – prepare a list of what assessors can see when. If they won’t be able to see something let them know asap so alternative means of assessment can be performed.
Have relevant paperwork to hand – EQA reports etc. Assessors will wish to see training, competence and CPD records.
At the end of the Assessment At the end of the assessment the assessor team will meet with key staff and go through the list of non-conformities. Labs are required to provide information as to how they will clear the non-conformity. These agreed actions will be documented on the Improvement Action Report and a copy left with the lab and sent to UKAS.
At this stage the Assessment Manager will recommend whether department has attained the required level to a) maintain CPA accreditation b) be recommended for ISO accreditation. Accreditation is only given once non- conformities are cleared.
CPA non-conformities are to be cleared in 8 weeks. UKAS non-conformities are to be cleared in 12 weeks.
Post assessment Assessors write up a report on the visit. This report is provided to both the department and UKAS. Labs must provide evidence for clearing non- conformities within the relevant timeframe. UKAS ISO accreditation is currently only ratified approx twice a year until fully embedded.
Schedule of Accreditation The Assessment Manager and Lab will work together to develop a Schedule of Accreditation. This is what you are accredited to provide. IMPORTANT – it is the assessed tests that are accredited and NOT the laboratory. Any new tests or changes to accredited equipment requires consideration of an extension to scope.
Caution… ISO is subject to copyright. If a provider of a service is UKAS accredited for that service they will provide a certificate that shows the UKAS logo. If a provider of a service says they are traceable to UKAS/ISO standards ask how.
And Finally… Technical Assessors are not paid. It is hard work, but rewarding. Assessment process relies on availability of assessors. It is your profession - be involved.