Technical skills and know-how of laboratory personnel is a key area that can steer your laboratory on a course of unstinted growth. The topic has been adequately covered under clause 5.2 of ISO 17025:2005. The objective of the present article is to analyze the benefits of training and skills development and offers some selections on implementation of training programs.
Benefits of Knowledge Base
The importance of knowledge cannot be overlooked as is clear from the benefits highlighted below:
- Appreciation and understanding of the quality management systems
- Time-saving due to skilful completion of tasks and reduction of need for repeat analysis
- Saving in terms of time and money due to fewer Instrument breakdowns and accidents
- Introduction of new technologies and adaption to new technologies in terms of techniques, automation and introduction of advanced laboratory management systems
- Confidence building with business clients, new prospects and auditors
Now there is a need to look into the means that can be adopted to achieve the desired knowledge base goals
Realization of Training Objectives
The first and foremost concern should be to recruit laboratory personnel having required basic qualifications so that they can be easily inducted, appreciate the laboratory quality policies and are willing to adapt to new technologies.
- Keep a record of the qualifications of new entrants
- Familiarize the entrants to the organization structure, policies and expectations through introductions and induction training programs
- After assignment to respective laboratory sections analyze the individual training needs in consultation with section heads
- Prepare a sequence of training topics and a planned schedule for each individual
- Training should be imparted by trained and skilled employees or external experts. The trainees should be evaluated and evaluation records kept by section head or HR department along with the employee personal records
- The entrant should be informed that his/her annual assessments will be based on completion of training programmes and evaluation records
Training is an ongoing process and needs regular alignment to the changing needs and introduction of new technologies. In case in-house training facilities are not available the management needs to explore possible outside training opportunities so that new technologies can be inducted effectively.
It is important to realize that training is a long-term investment and dividends are realized over the coming time. It is a good idea to induct experienced and skilled individuals in each and every laboratory and assign them responsibilities for implementation of planned training schedules.