Systematic implementation and maintenance of a quality system in environmental laboratories
Journal Title:Basic Research Journal of Microbiology
Implementation of an effective and efficient quality system in environmental laboratories requires a committed long-term effort that is characterised by numerous challenges. However, when the system is implemented, it becomes a useful tool for the laboratory. The first hurdle is to get management convinced about the rationale for the quality system. This is important because management defines the quality policy and its objectives. Once development of a quality system has been agreed upon, resources are assigned to the development of key quality system components. Compliance with the quality system is a vital step in the process, once the implementation is started. Important to successful implementation is on-going assessment and refinement of the quality system. Fundamental and key elements of the laboratory quality system are manifold and need to work in concert with each other. Quality system elements discussed in this paper range from quality assurance roles and functions of management through equipment and staff to documentation of laboratory procedures. All environmental laboratories need to invest in and implement a quality system based on a recognised standard i.e. ISO 17025. The paper discusses implementation of a quality system on routine basis, which is geared towards producing analytical data that are accurate, reliable and adequate for intended purposes. Keywords: Quality System, Environmental Laboratories, Quality Assurance, Quality Management.