A Summary of Calibration Methods & Competencies
In our last article we introduced readers to the importance of correctly identified calibration competencies for your employees.
In this article we supply a summary of the main performance criteria.
The unit explains:-
- The ability to create or modify calibration procedures in response to the introduction of alternative or new equipment, changing test conditions or to comply with client specifications.
- Research of existing procedures & technology.
- Development &/or modification of a procedure.
- Trialing & validation that a procedure is fit for purpose.
The unit does not provide guidance on competencies needed for calibration software development or editing.
Performance Criteria: Broad Task Elements –
- Assess the suitability of available calibration procedures.
- Develop a procedure.
- Prepare equipment for testing.
- Trial modified or new calibration procedure.
- Confirm the modification or new procedure is fit for purpose.
- Document & review the modified or new calibration procedure.
Performance Criteria: Specific competencies –
Element 1 competencies:
- Confirm that the authorised calibration procedure is inappropriate for use or needs modification.
- Research suitable established alternative procedures.
- Establish whether an existing procedure can be customised or if a new procedure is needed.
- Obtain internal approval to develop or modify a calibration procedure.
- Confirm that available resources meet all requirements of the alternate or new procedure.
- Obtain authorisation for any deviations from client specifications.
Element 2 competencies:
- Identify & document all relevant calibration data, parameters & ranges to be collected and tested.
- Describe all new instructions or modifications to ensure repeatability of tests.
- Document all EHS hazards & controls for compliance.
- Specify data to be recorded and develop a results template.
- List the specifications for calibration approval & rejection.
- Confirm that all calibration specifications can be fulfilled.
Element 3 competencies:
- Select, use & care for the correct PPE.
- Assemble and set reference standards or equipment prior to testing.
- Verify performance of the reference standards & measuring equipment prior to use and adjust or calibrate.
- Identify and minimise potential sources of measurement error.
Element 4 competencies:
- Perform individual steps and confirm they are accurately & succinctly documented for repeatability.
- Critically analyse readings, confirm they are valid measurements & recording this data.
- Adjust the measuring device during tests to bring readings within tolerance.
- Analyse test data to detect patterns or trends that may affect accuracy and validity.
Element 5 competencies:
- Compare the results with those achieved from other calibrations.
- Systematically analyse all factors that may influence results and implement corrective action.
- Organise internal peer checks of procedures, data and results and include feedback.
- Analyse equipment specifications & test methods to quantify the uncertainties in results.
- Compare results obtained via proficiency testing with other laboratories.
- Confirm the modified or new procedure is fit for purpose & meets specifications.
Element 6 competencies:
- Ensure that the procedure:-
- Is written to comply with the company’s document management & regulatory specifications;
- Has been reviewed to comply with the company’s document management specifications.
- Report and present the procedure to senior management for approval before use.