Several JRC laboratories adapted successfully their quality management systems due to a merger of accredited laboratories at two JRC sites (Geel in Belgium and Ispra in Italy). The experiences and recommendations for appropriate handling of this challenge are described in a recently published paper.
Following a reorganisation at the European Commission's Joint Research Centre (JRC) in 2016, the quality management systems established according to ISO/IEC 17025 for three laboratory clusters located in Geel (Belgium) and Ispra (Italy) were integrated successfully under one quality management system.
The laboratories were merged into JRC's Unit 'Food and Feed Compliance'. Their activities, which used to be under accreditation with the Belgian accreditation body BELAC and the Italian accreditation body Accredia, were brought under one multi-site accreditation with BELAC. This was achieved following the integration of the existing quality management systems under one harmonised quality management system in compliance with ISO/IEC 17025 and ISO/IEC 17043.
When testing laboratories merge or are taken over by larger entities, their quality management systems usually need to be integrated.
This integration is advantageous in terms of efficiency of operations, reduction in number of processes and consequently amount of quality documentation. However, a number of practical obstacles may be encountered and therefore experiences and recommendations for achieving a fast and efficient integration are outlined in the paper.
Read more in: P. Dehouck, R. Koeber, E. Scaravelli, H. Emons "The integration of quality management systems in testing laboratories: a practitioner’s report", Accreditation and Quality Assurance, DOI: 10.1007/s00769-018-1365-1
- 5 April 2019