Microbiology Laboratory Consultancy, Training and Auditing Support
RQA consultants can help you to ensure your laboratory or your external contract laboratory is operating to the highest quality and management standards.
Our consultants are specialists in microbiology laboratory methods and lab quality assurance. We advise on laboratory design, method validation, and help you with extensions to accreditation scope etc.
If you are in a possible recall situation, we can investigate the laboratory findings. Could it be a false positive or false negative? Has the lab made an error that could have a serious effect on your decision to recall?
If you need a comprehensive method review, our consultants can carry this out for you to make sure the method is performing within the correct parameters.
Laboratory training (on-site and bespoke to your laboratory)
Our experts train your staff (all staff including technicians) in your laboratory. We work with your staff following your methods and using your equipment. The training is therefore most relevant and helps you to improve and modify your systems. The training can include sample preparation, dilution and plating techniques, incubation and monitoring, plate reading and colony identification, confirmation tests. We also cover typical issues focused on by accreditation and other auditors.
It is essential to audit your laboratory systems, but the audits must be effective. You should have an internal audit schedule, but may struggle to get it completed. Our consultants can carry out your internal audits for you and challenge your quality system and procedures to ensure they are robust and effective. This would normally be done on site at your laboratory, but can be done remotely, see below.
We can also carry out audits of your contract laboratories according to ISO 17025 to ensure they are operating at the high standards you expert for your business.
Assistance during lockdown
“Remote assessment will remain UKAS’s primary assessment technique until at least 1st October 2020… All non-UK UKAS assessments will be conducted remotely until at least 1st January 2021.” UKAS statement, 11 May 2020. https://www.ukas.com/news/ukas-remote-assessment-policy-update/
RQA can assist you by performing some elements of your of internal audits remotely by focusing on areas that would be covered by UKAS in their remote assessment. This can be invaluable to demonstrate to UKAS (or other accrediting body) that you are maintaining your management system during these difficult times. We can use video conferencing to assist. Areas included are:
- Minutes of management system review
- Reports of complaints and nonconforming work
- Case/Job Files
- Training records of new staff
- Details of changes affecting your organisation
- Proficiency testing data (where relevant)
- Quality control data (where relevant)
- Any other area of the management system as required
We can also assist you to develop a risk assessment if you have to deviate from your procedures due to the pandemic.