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:-
- 1. 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.
- 2. Research of existing procedures & technology.
- 3. Development &/or modification of a procedure.
- 4. 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 -
- 1. Assess the suitability of available calibration procedures.
- 2. Develop a procedure.
- 3. Prepare equipment for testing.
- 4. Trial modified or new calibration procedure.
- 5. Confirm the modification or new procedure is fit for purpose.
- 6. 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.