The solution: The Wastewater Laboratory has established a fully performing Quality Management System (QMS) based on the International Standard ISO/IEC 17025:2005 which includes all the general requirements for the competence of testing and calibration laboratories, and has successfully achieved accreditation in June 2010 with the Mauritius Accreditation Service (MAURITAS) which is the official accreditation granting body in Mauritius.
The process was phased as follows until the whole QMS was set up and fully operational: drafting of Quality Manual containing all policies, procedures and instructions, and their implementation, drafting of all associated documents and operation logs, validation of test methods, and conducting internal audits and management reviews.
As such the lab has developed policies and procedures for the following: document control, review of requests, tenders and contracts, subcontracting of tests and calibration, purchasing of services and supplies, service to the customers, complaints, control of non-conforming activities, improvement, corrective action, preventive action, control of records, internal audits, management reviews, Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS), Occupational Health & Safety, ethics, accommodation and environment, test and calibration methods, method validation, equipment, measurement traceability, sampling, handling of test and calibration items and reporting of results among others.
The laboratory has also set up a Customer Satisfaction Feedback mechanism to measure the service delivered by the laboratory in terms of schedule execution, confidentiality, competency and standard of testing activities, customer complaint handling, on-time delivery and contract performance. As such the laboratory intends to ensure that operations and services meet customer requirements in a timely manner.
By implementing a standard approach to quality with an effective Quality Management System, the lab also intends to correct non-conformities that may arise in the system, carry out preventive actions, and above all works towards continual improvement of the system to constantly respond to the changing demands of the customers. The Wastewater Laboratory’s vision is based on its core values and purpose which goes as follows “To be the Benchmark and a Highly Recognized Analytical Testing Laboratory of Water and Wastewater in Mauritius and the Sub-Saharan Africa Region”. In order to assist and maintain the consistency of purpose that enables the attainment of the vision, the lab has set out the following mission
• To provide high standard service products using fully optimized processes that ensures efficiency and effectiveness. Analytical testing services focus on customer needs and expectations based on regular satisfaction measurement and feedback.
• To serve the Parent organization in helping it achieves the set objectives as per the applicable Wastewater Management Authority Act under the aegis of the Ministry of Energy & Public utilities.
• To serve the market with its segmented customers through the Wastewater Management Authority, Ministry of Renewable Energy & Public Utilities, and other related ministries and parastatal bodies including public/private organization and individuals.
• To make full use of equipment, means, methods, standard materials, standard references available and applicable technologies to ensure reliable results through competent analytical testing activities.
The beneficiaries of the above solution are: the Wastewater Laboratory and its clients.