At AGAT Laboratories, quality is always our priority. We understand that accurate, defensible, quality results are what you rely on. To ensure that we can maintain the highest standards, our Quality Assurance Department monitors the operations of the company and ensures compliance with the best-documented practices to-date. Analytical procedures are also subject to the implementation of blind and double-blind samples to ensure validity and accuracy of our methodologies.
We provide continuous improvement of systems, processes and personnel, resulting in improved services for our clients. The purpose of our Quality Assurance System is to ensure the precision, accuracy and reliability of all our services. Our best practices have been documented and are, where appropriate, consistent with:
- The International Organization for Standardization’s ISO/IEC 17025 – General Requirements for the Competence of Testing and Calibration Laboratories and the ISO 9001 Quality Management Systems.
- All principles of Total Quality Management (TQM).
- All applicable safety, environmental and legal regulations and guidelines.
- Methodologies published by the ASTM, GPA, UOP, CGSB and other reputable organizations.
Our Quality Assurance System covers all areas including; sample collection, sample transportation, sample analysis and data reporting.
Documented Procedures: All aspects of the Quality Assurance System are documented. This includes analytical methodologies as well as safety, environmental and management systems. This documentation is critical to the training of personnel and in demonstrating the Quality Assurance System to clients and accrediting bodies. By completing our work according to best practices; the precision, accuracy and reliability of all of our services are enhanced.
Preventive Maintenance: Preventive maintenance procedures are clearly defined and written for each instrument and its support equipment. Maintenance activities are documented on standard forms within the equipment logbook.
Continuous Improvement: Several processes defined within our Quality Manual work together to define the Continuous Improvement System. These processes include; third party audits, internal audits, investigation procedures, non-conformance reporting, improvement suggestions and corrective and preventive actions.
Client Feedback: Feedback from the client allows us to evaluate our effectiveness in achieving client satisfaction. Customer Review Forms are available to clients and upon return, are viewed by the president and distributed to the individuals associated with the project. Through these procedures, the voice of each customer is heard and improvements to services can be made.
Non-conformance and Corrective Actions: Identification of non-conformances helps our organization to ensure that recognized problems are reduced or eliminated to prevent reoccurrence. Non-conformances may be identified by anyone involved in the organization. Non-conformances may be identified during daily operations, Client feedback , internal assessments or external assessments. Non-conformances are investigated by the Quality Assurance Department who recommends corrective and preventive actions with the goal of addressing and preventing the problem from reoccurring.
Preventive Action: will address inadequate “conditions” which may produce non-conformances. They are developed and implemented to prevent and eliminate potential (perceived) non-conformances before they occur.
Quality Control Checks: Analytical procedures are subject to various quality checks which include; checks for linearity of calibration, accuracy of calibration, precision of analytical systems and interferences to the analytical systems. The parameters, which are the measure of these checks, are control-charted to monitor on-going performance of the analytical procedure.
Internal Audits: Are periodically conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of our best practices. Both analytical procedures and management practices are subject to internal audits and compared to the best practices of other organizations or to published methodologies.
Personnel Training: AGAT Laboratories provides a detailed training program for all employees and documents the completion of the training. Training, as appropriate, is provided in the following areas:
- Management and leadership skills
- Total Quality Management Systems
- Quality assurance and quality control techniques and procedures (i.e. Statistical Process Control and Intervention Techniques)
- Analytical techniques and procedures
- Equipment maintenance and utilization
- Our policies and procedures
- Workplace Hazardous Materials Information Systems (WHMIS)
- Transportation of Dangerous Goods (TDG)
- First aid
- H2S Alive
- Waste disposal
- Personal growth and life skills