Technical Assessors News Jun 2019

27 June 2019

In this Issue:


Enhancing the Technical Assessor Experience

Technical assessors are one of NATA’s key and most valued resources, allowing us to meet our objective of undertaking assessments by competent technical experts. 

NATA is currently reviewing how we can enhance the experience for technical assessors to ensure more frequent opportunities are provided to: 

keep them abreast of changes to accreditation requirements and how these apply or affect specific industries;
receive feedback from technical assessors on current issues/topics pertinent to industry and the assessment process; and
identify enhanced assessment training needs and skills.

NATA is mindful that the review and improvement should be a two-way communication process.  

In the coming weeks, we will be reaching out to some of you to seek feedback on your experiences as a technical assessor and suggestions for improvements.  

If you receive this questionnaire, we would appreciate your time in providing us with your feedback. If you’d like to be part of the process and receive a questionnaire, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


World Accreditation Day Celebrations

Each year on 9 June we celebrate World Accreditation Day (WAD) which was established by the International Accreditation Forum (IAF) and the International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC) to raise awareness of the importance of accreditation in our everyday lives.

As part of our celebrations, NATA runs a competition for members and technical assessors which requires them to answer a question based on the WAD theme. This year the theme was Accreditation: Adding value to supply chains and the question to answer was ‘How does accreditation add value to the supply chain in your sector?’

The judges chose these three winners from a very strong field:

What is the single most important factor in an industry with different goals and objectives? For me and my organisation, it is that I can ‘TRUST’ the work that I receive from the supply chain. Accreditation not only allows us to maintain the technical competence and integrity of the job that we do but also builds this trust and cohesiveness in the product that we deliver.

Rohan Koottala
Service, Support and Engineering Manager
Vicom Australia Pty. Ltd.

In the Oil & Gas Sector, supply chains appear to be growing more complex as companies become more collaborative and more specialist services are required. Using accredited companies through our supply chain, whose systems have been thoroughly audited, gives us greater confidence in the products and services being used. This ensures that the final product we are producing and the services we provide are reliably and consistently of the highest standard. 

Paul Lavender
Business Services Manager
Vertech Group Pty Ltd

Accreditation is the evidence.
Evidence externally for clients/customers of our organisations qualifications. Evidence internally to strengthen pride in work and importance of best practices. Evidence of officially recognised suppliers and services to be utilised when needed by our organisation.

Accreditation is at the forefront of every step in the supply chain.

Rachael Truman
Quality Systems Coordinator/Microbiologist
Ingham’s Group Limited

Congratulations to Rohan, Paul and Rachael, we hope you enjoy your prizes!

    

NATA’s Brisbane office used the WAD logo (right) as inspiration for their morning tea.


Young Scientist of the year competition launched

NATA’s Young Scientists of the Year Awards competition has attracted hundreds of entries from primary school students around Australia since it began in 2007.

The competition aims to inspire students to carry out scientific investigations based around a specific theme.

2019 has been designated the International Year of the Periodic Table which celebrates 150 years since its publication. To acknowledge this sesquicentenary, this year’s theme is Chemistry in our lives.

The competition is free to enter and is open to primary school students from ages seven to 12.

If you know a young scientist who may be interested in entering, there is information about the Award, including entry details and guidelines, on the NATA website.

Entries close on Friday 27 September. If you would like more information about the competition or would like to be added to the mailing list, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Calibration Accreditation Criteria Updates

The General Accreditation Guidance ‘Liquid-in-glass thermometers - selection and use’ has been updated. This is a general update and revision of the guide following feedback from technical experts in temperature calibration.

Plus, the following Annexes to the Specific Accreditation Criteria Calibration ISO/IEC 17025 Appendix have been revised;

  • Dimensional metrolog
  • Temperature metrology
  • Mass and related quantities
  • Electrical metrology

These revisions incorporate general editorial changes, updates to reference publications and the addition of guidance and criteria for the calibration of a number of instruments in order to support consistency in application and interpretation of standard methods following feedback from assessments.

A copy of the General Accreditation Guidance ‘Liquid-in-glass thermometers - selection and use’ may be found in the applicable NATA Accreditation Criteria (NAC) packages.

The Annexes to the Specific Accreditation Criteria Calibration ISO/IEC 17025 Appendix may be found in the Calibration NAC package.


Made to Measure

As members and assessors are no doubt aware, the SI unit of measure for mass (the kilogram) has been officially redefined by the International Bureau of Weights and Measures (BIPM). 

An article published by Engineers Australia magazine provides an excellent summary of the change and the leadership role played by our former Chair Dr Barry Inglis who is also the immediate past President of BIPM. 

The article can be found here:

https://www.createdigital.org.au/made-measure-exciting-time-world-metrology


Obituaries

ROB ROBSON

It is with great sadness that we had to say good bye to one of our Inspection technical assessors, Mr Rob Robson. Rob was well known and regarded in the explosive protected electrical equipment in the mining industry.

Mr Rob Robson was the Senior Engineer of Dynamic Electrical Constructions Pty Ltd and was one of the few that held the NSW MDA Class A person under the Department of Mines personnel approval scheme. He had over 40 years’ experience in the design, manufacture, overhaul and repair of explosion protected equipment.

He was the Illawarra Branch President of the Mining Electrical and Mining Mechanical Engineering Society (M.E.M.M.E.S) and was on quite a number of Standards Australia committees including as Chair of the EL23-3 committee.

His approach to the assessments was excellent. He was always well prepared with his own checklists. He knew the industry standards well and knew the issues that were being reported by the industry. He was truly a font of knowledge and a fantastic technical assessor.

Rob suffered from leukaemia and for 15 years he did not allow the disease to get in his way. He tried every treatment possible and confronted the disease with great courage. At times, you could see that he was going through a rough time but if you asked him how he was, he would always respond with a big smile and the words “I couldn’t be better”.

Rob passed away peacefully on 25 April 2019. He was 67 years old and will be greatly missed by all who knew him.


GRANT TAGGART

Grant passed away on Easter Monday 22 April.

Grant started work at Posney and Kerr Pathology and ended his career at Douglass Hanly Moir pathology in the Anatomical Pathology Department.  Grant connected with people in a way few of us can.  He will be sorely missed.

He started as a technical assessor on 7 July 1998.  Wendy Harris was on assessment with Grant and Tom Robertson and David Cauchi and the three of them bonded so well they remained in touch.

I’m very saddened to hear about Grant. I remember him and his sense of humour fondly (Tom)

Thank you for informing me of Grant's passing. It was a wonderful experience working with him during those assessments. Aside from his technical knowledge and expertise, his personality shone through with everyone he encountered.  I'll be having a red tonight in his memory. (David)