Institute of Fundamental Technological Research
Polish Academy of Sciences

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Quality Management Systems in IPPT PAN

In line with the IPPT PAN mission statement, the Institute aims at continuous quality services improvement. These include:

  • competent, highly qualified research staff,
  • world-class laboratory equipment,
  • modern research facilities.

In the current reality, there is an increasing demand that conducting laboratory activities, cooperating with other units, and implementing scientific research should be subject to an objective and independent audit carried out to confirm the competence and credibility in the laboratory, both at the national and international level.

Such confirmation of the laboratory's competence to conduct specific research services is made by an auditing body, independent of the supplier and recipient organizations, which certifies that the quality of a product, process, or service offered by the laboratory complies with a specific standard or relevant regulations. In Poland, the body authorized to certify quality management systems is the Polish Centre for Accreditation (PCA). PCA is a signatory to multilateral agreements within international organizations, including the accreditation of research laboratories - the International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation Mutual Recognition Arrangement (ILAC MRA). The purpose of the agreements is the free circulation of accredited test results in Europe and worldwide. The ILAC MRA agreement allows laboratories to access export markets in Europe and the world - according to the principle "once tested or certified - accepted everywhere".

Meeting the need to provide all partners of IPPT PAN with the high quality and reliability of research results, the Institute’s Management enables and supports activities aimed at implementing quality management systems. In 2014-2021, the Professional Electronics Laboratory IPPT PAN implemented and maintained the first Quality Management Systems meeting the requirements of ISO-13485 and ISO-9001, in two areas: "Design and development in the field of ultrasonic medical devices and software for medical purposes" and "Design, development and training in the scope of electronic systems and software".

Recently, measures have been taken to cover other laboratories with the Quality Management Systems. Currently, at the Laboratory for Testing Materials and Structures (LBMK) of the Department of Experimental Mechanics (ZMD), intensive work is underway to prepare appropriate documentation and to help the laboratory to implement the quality management system. The LBMK (research laboratory) quality management system will meet the requirements of the Polish standard PN-EN ISO / IEC 17025: 2018-02 "General requirements for the competence of testing and calibration laboratories" and the requirements of the certification body - Polish Centre for Accreditation. We have completed the Management System Manual, processes, procedures and instructions in accordance with the requirements of the standard and documents of the PCA accreditation body. LBMK employees participated in many training courses, both internal and organized by external organizations, on the development, implementation and maintenance of quality management systems.

In terms of technical activities at LBMK, we have calibrated the measurement and research equipment (to international standards), and we have adapted the research facilities and infrastructure to the requirements of the standard. At the stage of implementing the quality management system, the provisions of the system documentation are verified and / or the identified shortcomings in the laboratory's activities are eliminated. In order to confirm the quality of the test results, we have carried out comparative tests with the participation of LBMK and the laboratory, which has been accredited for many years in testing mechanical properties. Interlaboratory comparison confirmed the compliance of the results obtained by LBMK with the results of the accredited laboratory.

Currently, we are progressing with works related to correcting documentation and preparing for the management review and internal audit. Once the internal audit and possible corrective actions have been taken, LBMK will submit an application to PCA for an accreditation audit. A positive result of the accreditation audit will be the basis for issuing the accreditation certificate of the testing laboratory for LBMK in the requested scope of mechanical properties tests.

In addition, LBMK has taken the following actions in connection with the implementation of the quality management system, which will be important for the functioning of the laboratory:

  • accession of the Department of Experimental Mechanics (LBMK as part of ZMD) to the Polish Research Laboratories Club POLLAB, Material Testing Section, as an actual member of the Club. The representative of ZMD in the POLLAB Club is Prof. Zbigniew Kowalewski. The participation of ZMD in the POLLAB Club allows other Club members (nearly 500 actual members) to cooperate in sections / committees with substantive training and interlaboratory comparisons, activities crucial to assessing the competences of laboratories. The POLLAB Club is an associate member of the European Association of National Organizations of Chemical Laboratories EURACHEM and the Research and Calibration Laboratories EUROLAB.

    Klub POLLAB jest członkiem stowarzyszonym Europejskiego Stowarzyszenia Krajowych Organizacji Laboratoriów Chemicznych EURACHEM oraz Laboratoriów Badawczych i Wzorcujących EUROLAB.

  • accession of IPPT PAN to the Polish Committee for Standardization (PKN), Technical Committee 123 (KT 123) for Metal Property Testing, in which work is carried out on standards directly related to the scope of LBMK activities. Membership in KT PKN offers the following benefits (for the Institute and LBMK):

    • it opens the possibility of influencing the content of created standards at international, European and national levels;
    • provides access to the content of draft international, European and national standards;
    • it gives the possibility of shaping the program of standardization, which allows to properly plan investments and, as a consequence, gain a competitive advantage;
    • facilitates business contacts.

The Institute’s representative in PKN KT 123 for Metal Property Research participates in the works of KT 123. One of the effects of his actions included translations of international standards from English into Polish, including PN-EN ISO 6892 1: 2016-09 “Metals. Tensile test. Part 1: Test method at room temperature”. This standard specifies all the relevant test methods that are the subject of the quality management system currently under development at LBMK and will be included in the laboratory's accreditation.

Participation in the works of KT PKN is taken into account in the parametric evaluation of the Institute’s scientific potential in the category of “membership in expert teams appointed by state bodies and institutions”.

Category A Plus


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