Instruments that are used to take accurate measurements typically require periodic calibration to ensure reliable readings. They are sometimes tested in a highly controlled laboratory setting while for some devices, at the actual site of field use.
The certification process is done by qualified personnel who are properly trained to service the specific types of devices under test. They follow formalized Standard Operating Procedures which document the method of testing, the NIST traceable standards that are suitable for use and list any other rules that may be pertinent for regulatory compliance to quality and safety issues. In large organizations, multiple technicians work under the supervision of a Calibration Manager.
Planning and scheduling data
Although highly experienced in the work methods, a Calibration Manager’s daily routine may be less “hands-on” but rather his time may be used solely to supervise the activities of his subordinates. He oversees productivity, schedules, quality of workmanship and overall team performance. In today’s world, good managers understand that important productivity tools to include highly-functional calibration management software. Effective programs are designed for planning workflow, scheduling, creating standardized templates for data capture, managing change control, assigning electronic stamps of approval and other functions. Some can also interface to higher level ERP and CMMS systems.
Depending on the organization, duties for Calibration Mangers often extend beyond workflow management. Including:
- Employee hiring, training & termination
- Performance reviews
- SOP development
- Measurement uncertainty calculations
- Historical record keeping
- Change control processing
- Out of Tolerance reporting
- Test standard selection & recertification
- Document & final work approvals
- Reverse traceability reporting
- Productivity & profitability metrics
- Vendor selection
- Audit participation
Often Calibration Managers are required to participate in regulatory audits. The purpose is to demonstrate that operations are proceeding according to established practices, that routine testing of devices achieve accurate results and that any identified shortcomings are documented and resolved through a systematic approach for continuous improvement. Here is where full-featured calibration management software is especially useful. The ability to instantly retrieve the history of records and relevant requested documents will demonstrate that the organization is compliant, operating at peak performance and increasing efficiency.
Older calibration management methods using pen and paper are obsolete. Calibration Managers facing an ever growing volume of workload, have learned to rely on feature rich software and automated systems to significantly improve productivity.