The A2LA Workplace Training blog is a resource for information related to international standards, quality systems, conformity assessment, and measurement training. Topics covered include helpful how-to’s and informational content, news related to A2LA WPT and the industry in general, spotlights on customers and examples of best practices, and other topics related to A2LA WPT courses and the industries they serve. Our writers and collaborators strive to provide content that is accurate, informative, consistent, and clear to best serve those seeking to learn. Do you have a special request or an idea for a topic? Please contact marketing@A2LAWPT.org.
AWPT recently began exploring a new media channel with our podcast “The Conformance Cast”, hosted by our team and featuring expert guests from fields related to accreditation, calibration, instructional technique, and more. Through The Conformance Cast, we hope to allow more people to access our educational topics in short, listener-friendly segments that are available on many different devices.
AWPT values its customers not only for their patronage, but for the insight they give us on our products and the opportunities they provide us for collaboration. Medtronic is a longtime AWPT client, and Medtronic’s now-retired Senior Engineering Manager Walter Nowocin was instrumental in the development of two of our current e-learning course options. Mr. Nowocin, whose career in calibration has spanned more than 40 years, advocated for the use of AWPT e-learning courses at Medtronic and over the course of many years provided feedback on what subjects he felt needed to be added to our course catalog.
The Certified Calibration Technician (CCT) program was created by the American Society for Quality (ASQ) and serves as a standardized way for calibration technicians to demonstrate their understanding of concepts related to their field. Although certification is not necessary to get an entry-level job in calibration, it can be a major advantage for those looking to advance in their careers.
The world of conformity assessment has its own specialized jargon that can make understanding requirements challenging, especially to organizations who are pursuing accreditation for the first time. We find that our customers often try to find information on ISO/IEC 17025 certification, only to learn that what they actually need is ISO/IEC 17025 accreditation, or may research product registration, but ultimately learn that in their region the process is called certification. In ordinary speech, the words accreditation, certification, and registration are often used interchangeably, but the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) has specific definitions for these terms that differ somewhat from their everyday use.
Food testing labs will soon see their regulatory environment change somewhat as part of the FDA’s Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), which seeks to implement its own laboratory accreditation program for food testing labs. The goal of this program is to ensure the safety of the U.S. food supply and protect U.S. consumers by helping ensure appropriate oversight of certain food testing that is relevant to public health. It will also ensure that the testing is done according to appropriate model standards which will help produce consistently reliable and valid test results.
A2LA WorkPlace Training (AWPT) has partnered with Qualtrax, a leading provider of custom quality management system (QMS) software, to create 17025 QMS QuickStart: a specialized software solution with preloaded content that helps small labs achieve ISO/IEC 17025 conformance.
After months of careful deliberation and design work, A2LA WorkPlace Training is pleased to unveil a new logo and branded color scheme to better reflect our unique company identity. The new design will have two official forms: one with the company name in its entirety and one that features a shortened acronym, AWPT, that we will be gradually phasing into use. The marketing department is incorporating the new branding changes to our website, forms, contracts, user portals, course materials and more, so customers will soon notice a fresh new look to many aspects of AWPT’s public presence.
A2LA WorkPlace Training has had many opportunities over the years to support the US government and armed forces through many different forms of specialized training, both online and in person. Although our custom and public training options are a great opportunity for us to deliver more specialized training material, the courses that have had by far the most extensive use in this field are e-learning courses. Our virtual training for metrology, calibration, and international standards like ISO/IEC 17025 are broadly applicable in these fields, which contributes to their widespread use.
Self-paced e-learning has been part of the public consciousness for a few decades now. In fact, the idea was popular even before the internet was commonplace, when courses were delivered to users on compact disks. Although the premise is simple, there’s a good reason e-learning has persisted and evolved with the available technology, even as other remote training options have also become available. E-learning is a flexible and uniquely scalable training delivery method for subjects like metrology and calibration training, which makes it a practical choice for large organizations where many employees need to learn the same information in a standardized way. Unlike with instructor-led training, any employee can take e-learning courses at any time, rather than waiting for a scheduled class. Further, the organization can be certain that the training for all employees across is consistent, even if it is accessed at different times and in different locations. A2LA WorkPlace Training clients have put e-learning to use in an incredible array of industries, and it has proven especially popular for large-scale applications in the aerospace field.
Digital quality management systems, also called “eQMS,” are becoming increasingly common, especially as the technology that supports them becomes more widely available and user-friendly. The COVID-19 pandemic has made remote access to information more important than ever and highlighted the shortcomings of traditional paper-based QMS, but the benefits of switching to an eQMS extend far beyond the unique challenges imposed by a global pandemic. Digital QMS allow for better accessibility, better document control, faster and more streamlined processes, and other advantages that affect both efficiency and company culture. The transition from a traditional paper system to an eQMS, however, requires a commitment of time and resources that often drives decision-makers to put it off for as long as possible.