Behind the Scenes - Interview with Taffy Moyo
This month we spoke with Taffy Moyo, Quality Accreditation Manager for TestEd, to learn about the future of TestEd. Taffy is working towards gaining UKAS accreditation for the TestEd laboratory: June 2022
Read Taffy’s blog to find out:
- What is accreditation?
- Which quality processes have been implemented in the TestEd lab?
- What will be the future of TestEd when accredited?
What does your day-to-day look like?
My role as Quality Accreditation Manager (QAM) is to support the planning, development and implementation of a Quality Management System (QMS) within the TestEd programme. A successful implementation of the QMS is key to achieving the planned ISO/IEC 17025 accreditation via the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) that will underpin the future development of the TestEd laboratory.
As such, a lot of what I do on a day to day basis has changed significantly from when I started working as a Laboratory Technologist for TestEd in March 2021. My day now largely involves the development of a plethora of documents in the form of policies, work instructions, records, contracts and service agreements around sample acquisition, sample transportation, laboratory processes, staff training, data management, security, the provision of confidential feedback of results to participants in TestEd.
The more I am in the role of QAM, the more apparent it is becoming how essential it has been for me to have gained a very good understanding of the all the workings of TestEd as a Technologist to be able to develop a Quality Management System that will deliver confidence in the programme as a whole.
What is "accreditation"? Which type of accreditation are we getting? Who will be accrediting TestEd? What does it mean to be accredited?
Accreditation involves assessment of the competence and impartiality of an organisation, as well as the compliance of their work to nationally and internationally recognised standards or schemes by an external accreditation body. The type of accreditation achieved is always very specific to the activities it covers under the relevant standard. TestEd is going for ISO/IEC 17025 which is a national and internationally recognised accreditation standard for Laboratory Testing.
Why is accreditation important?
Achieving accreditation status creates trust and confidence in the testing, products and services that people rely on. In the case of TestEd, this is especially important for us as achieving accreditation status will demonstrate technical competence, efficiency and validity of our Covid-19 testing facility against both national and internationally recognised standards. Additionally, our hope is that TestEd will gain commercial advantage as a result.
Which quality processes have been implemented in the TestEd lab?
We have already implemented a significant number of quality processes from implementing more robust competency and training procedures, equipment and calibration procedures, as well as quality assurance procedures including participation in inter-laboratory comparison programmes to ensure reliability of testing results nationally. There is still so much to complete however we are confident that we will have implemented Stage 1 of a 3 Stage Project by the end of June 2022.
Who else is involved in implementing quality processes in the lab?
Every single member of staff contributing towards the TestEd programme in some shape or form, from Logistics, Laboratory, Estates, Finance and IT, they are all involved in ensuring the successful implementation of the Quality Management System for TestEd. All the policies, procedures, contracts and agreements are all documents that remain as documents unless implemented in the day to day functions of TestEd.
What will be the future of TestEd when accredited?
The TestEd Covid-19 facility is a high-throughput testing laboratory. Should things change for the worse regarding the Covid-19 pandemic during winter/flu season, the facility will be in a better position than it has been even during the peak of the pandemic to provide quality, high-throughput Covid-19 testing to ensure a safe environment for the University’s Staff and Student population and perhaps beyond!
What do you enjoy the most about your role?
Being able to execute and deliver on a multi-faceted project with what feels like many moving parts! This definitely wouldn’t be possible without the contributions and support of every single member the TestEd Team. They also occasionally bear the responsibility of pulling me out of the mounds of paperwork I am constantly buried under!