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.
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.
Happy first anniversary to A2LA Workplace Training! Although A2LA WPT has a very long history, June marks our one-year anniversary as an independent non-profit organization after separating from our partner company, American Association for Laboratory Accreditation (A2LA). Our first year has been an eventful one, to say the least, and our team is excited to have such a landmark to celebrate in these tumultuous times. We have made incredible strides in twelve short months: launching several new product lines, pivoting many of our services to a digital delivery method, and developing both our skills and our relationships through hard work and collaboration.
Whether you’re approaching the process for the first time or have dozens of audits under your belt, conducting a document review as part of your internal audit to can be intimidating. A2LA WorkPlace Training instructors frequently get questions from learners about document review best practices and what documents require the most attention during a review. Unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all answer. Depending on your facility, your industry, and the standard or standards you are accredited to, your experience will be somewhat different. There are, however, strategic ways to approach a document review that will help to set you up for success.
Over the course of the last several months, A2LA WPT has hosted 16 public courses online and a handful of remote training courses for internal staff and assessors. The subject matter included ISO/IEC 17025 compliance training for industries such as calibration, food testing, and cannabis testing, as well as auditing courses, measurement uncertainty courses, and courses on other ISO standards. Virtual Classroom courses have been well-attended and have received consistently positive feedback. Although the pivot to remote learning was necessitated by travel restrictions and limits on in-person gatherings, A2LA WPT will continue to take advantage of remote learning tools in the future, offering both hybrid learning options and additional Virtual Classroom courses.
In March 2020, A2LA WorkPlace Training began developing a series of tiered, prebuilt consulting service packages called QMS Express. Through QMS Express, small- and medium-sized laboratories can purchase a collection of affordable tools to help build and implement an ISO/IEC 17025 conformant quality management system. Three different packages are now available, all of which include a proprietary ISO/IEC 17025 quality management system template, e-learning modules that focus on key ISO/IEC 17025 concepts, and various levels of phone and quality system review consultation with the industry’s best-trained experts. The diversity of the tools and resources included with these packages helps support a well-rounded understanding of ISO/IEC 17025 and how to put the principles of the standard into practice. Conveniently, QMS Express packages are also designed to be utilized 100% remotely, contributing to cost reduction and making them an effective option even while limitations on travel and face-to-face interaction remain in place.
Calendars are rife with interesting and obscure modern holidays, from National Donut Day to Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day. The cynics among us know that most of these “holidays” exist mostly to sell you something, but a few are genuine in their efforts to raise awareness of an important concept or teach the public something valuable. May 20th of each year – the anniversary of the signing of the Metre Convention in 1875 - marks one such obscure but helpful holiday: World Metrology Day. Most people rarely think about the concept of metrology. In fact, outside of a few specific industries few people even know exactly what metrology is, but it’s truly crucial to nearly everything we do in the modern world.
May 12, 2020, Frederick, MD – The California Water Resources Control Board has selected A2LA WorkPlace Training (A2LA WPT) as its lead training partner to prepare the state's water testing laboratories to meet newly required standards. A2LA WPT will provide California environmental laboratories with detailed training on The NELAC Institute Standard (TNI:2016), as well as how to implement a QMS.
In response to the travel and public gathering restrictions put in place due to COVID-19, A2LA WPT has made many of our most popular courses available online through our Virtual Classroom platform. All of our Virtual Classroom sessions have been well-received, but for MS 113 in particular, some unique advantages associated with the online format have become clear.
Earlier this year, A2LA WorkPlace Training launched “MS 180: Understanding ISO 20387:2018, General Requirements for Biobanking,” a first-of-its-kind professional training course designed to comprehensively cover ISO 20387:2018 for biobanking facilities. As part of the Virtual Classroom product rollout, MS 180 is now one of the many classes available as a live remote option. In addition to removing the need for travel, Virtual Classroom will make this unique and specialized A2LA WPT class accessible to more learners across the country.
On March 31st, 2020, A2LA WorkPlace Training (A2LA WPT) hosted their first remote Virtual Classroom training course. Virtual Classroom is a new training delivery method recently launched by A2LA WPT that provides live, instructor-led training and a fully interactive classroom experience to learners anywhere in the world. With travel restrictions and social distancing protocols now in place due to COVID-19, Virtual Classroom allows A2LA WPT to offer the same high-quality training services without the need for travel. The first course hosted through Virtual Classroom was A2LA WPT’s most popular class: Understanding ISO/IEC 17025:2017 for Testing & Calibration Laboratories. Several more in-demand courses are now also available to individuals and organizations through this new delivery method.