The company had attempted to develop the processes and practises required for 17025 registration but had received 31 significant non-conformances at a UKAS pre-audit. This had been followed by assignments with two different consultancy companies, neither of which had taken the company further forward. The company were understandably reticent about making a third appointment.
Pre appointment, Statius took sample data from the water quality activities and created a series of Statistical Process Control (SPC) charts to demonstrate 1) the degree of variation in the results being obtained 2) our competence in the field of SPC.
The client is a large blue-chip household name; a major international waste company.
The project was to develop an analytical quality control procedure and a related non-conformance procedure which would dovetail with existing procedures and allow the Water Quality Division to obtain ISO 17025 registration for both the laboratory and the field based testing activities.
The approach and solution
Having “won our spurs” and been appointed, Statius set about executing the programme of works which included:
- Understanding the current AQC working practices
- Developing an appreciation of core regulatory, technical and statistical documentation; NS-30 and the Drinking Water Regulations and associated guidance
- Decanting data into a series of SPC charts for each of the water quality technicians
- Developing and implementing a training regime for all staff which developed an appreciation of SPC, variation, the sources of variations and implications of it for the company
- Reworking and re-developing the previously deficient AQC procedure so it is simple, usable and repeatable
- Developing a comprehensive non-conformance procedure based on the samples taken which drives the SPC charts and includes investigations where results are found to be statistically significant
The AQC and the non-conformance procedure have both now been reviewed, tested and are now used daily.
They have also been shared with other external parties and are regarded as “excellent, comprehensive and easy to follow”.