TOWARDS AN EFFECTIVE SELF-LEARNING: THE CASE OF THE SUBJECT “QUALITY MANAGEMENT IN ANALYTICAL LABORATORIES”
Quality assurance and control constitute a set of activities and management processes that are carried out in order to ensure that the products and services of a specific organization are at the required quality level. Effective quality control systems can enormously contribute to the success of the company, but the counterpoint is that, when poorly understood, they are ineffective.
In the specific case of testing and calibration laboratories, quality assurance and control are of special relevance since the correct performance of an analytical method or a calibration procedure should be suitably controlled and verified before and during its application. This is even more important when a laboratory is accredited under the ISO/IEC 17025 standard, which guarantees its technical competence.
In the Master Degree in Chemistry of the University of La Laguna, the subject “Quality management in analytical laboratories” constitutes the first approach of Chemistry students to quality assurance and control of an analytical laboratory, in particular, to the ISO/IEC 17025 standard requirements which include concepts like validation, traceability, uncertainty measurements, etc. whose practical implementation normally results of a high complexity to the students.
In this work, we propose a particular and efficient strategy based on self-learning, for the suitable knowledge of an important part of ISO/IEC 17025 concepts and requirements. A students’ survey has shown that they are highly satisfied with the methodology and the final evaluation clearly indicates that they have a high knowledge of the subject.