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The Quality Office

The National Microbiology Laboratory (NML) Quality Office ensures that the NML adheres to the highest standards of quality by providing support and advice related to Management System requirements and reference service-related issues for all NML programs, Canadian Public Health Laboratory Network (CPHLN) client labs and international health-based organizations.

Client Satisfaction and Needs Assessment Survey

The National Microbiology Laboratory (NML) conducted the Client Satisfaction and Needs Assessment Survey to determine current levels of satisfaction with NML reference services and ascertain the needs and priorities of client laboratories. The survey was conducted over a five-week period and was accessible in both official languages.

Responsibilities of the Quality Office

The NML Quality Office is responsible for:

  • establishing and maintaining a Management System based on ISO/IEC 17025 (CAN-P-4E):
    • continually expanding its scope of accreditation which can be viewed on the Standards Council of Canada website (http://palcan.scc.ca/specs/pdf/715_e.pdf External Link)
    • auditing the laboratory quality systems in place at the NML
    • ensuring compliance with approved procedures and policies
    • training NML staff in Management System elements
    • maintaining and tracking Management System documentation
    • developing policies and procedures to facilitate a culture of continuous improvement
    • reviewing all quality documents to ensure compliance within the LabWare Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS) Quality Module
    • calibrating / verifying certain NML laboratory equipment, and coordinating calibration of other equipment with external calibration providers
  • supporting other laboratory and management systems initiatives pursued within the NML which include:
    • Current ISO 9001 certification for Rendering and Biowaste System
    • Current ISO 15189 certification for the National HIV and Retrovirology Laboratories (NHRL)
    • Implementation of ISO 9001 certifications for NML Support Services including Business Operations, Real Property, Safety and Security and NML Lab Support Services
    • Implementation of CWA 15973:23011 – CEN Workshop Agreement – Laboratory Biorisk Management
    • Implementation of ISO 17043 for proficiency panel providers
  • supporting NML lab programs and CPHLN client laboratories with respect to reference service-related issues which includes:
    • co-ordinating projects associated with cross-cutting issues at the NML
    • providing NML representation in support of various public health initiatives and activities
    • coordinating external quality control monitoring
    • coordinating external laboratory training programs
    • developing policies for reference service-related issues, such as the prioritization and phasing in/out of reference services and handling of emerging pathogens
    • coordinating contractual agreements with external reference centres where specific microbiological reference services are not provided by the NML

Contact Information

Inquiries may be directed to NML.Quality.Office@phac-aspc.gc.ca