NATA hosts Life Sciences Quality Managers Forum

Morning Coffee at Quality Managers Forum Registration Lecture Theatre

NATA hosted a Life Sciences Quality Managers Forum on Tuesday 24 and Wednesday 25 June 2014. More than 150 delegates from all fields and programs in the Life Sciences sector attended the forum.

NATA's Neil ShephardThe Forum was held in the Lehany Auditorium of the National Measurement Institute, Bradfield Road, West Lindfield in Sydney’s northwest.

Proceedings were opened by NMI’s CEO Peter Fisk who was introduced by NATA Life Sciences Sector Manager Neil Shepherd.

Attendees heard presentations from fourteen external speakers and NATA staff members on topics identified by accredited facilities.

Despite the diverse range of disciplines represented by participants from the Life Sciences sector, the broad scope of presentations chosen meant there was (nearly) something for everyone.

Topics covered matters of accreditation practice, regulatory developments and technological changes that have a practical impact on laboratories.

The diverse range of subject matter included:

NMI CEO Peter Fisk

  • Medical Testing surveillance model
  • National Safety and Quality Health Service Standards
  • National Pathology Accreditation Advisory Council
  • PoCT accreditation programme for NSW Health Pathology
  • Use of Skype to undertake assessment activities
  • High Accuracy Reference Measurements and CRM in support of Vitamin D assays
  • Harmonisation of reference ranges
  • Continuing Professional Development
  • Cross standard accreditation
  • One Health
  • Research and Development Accreditation
  • Equipment checks and calibration
  • Validation and verification of veterinary methods
  • Calibration and measurement traceability
  • Proficiency Testing
  • Next generation /massively parallel sequencing 
  • TGA IVD framework

External speakers at the two-day event included:

Day One - 24 June

  • A/Prof Paul Mackenzie, National Pathology Accreditation Advisory Council
  • Mr Andrew Sargent, NSW Health
  • Ms Penny Petinos, Royal College of Pathologists Australasia, Quality Assurance Program
  • Dr Veronica Vamathevan, National Measurement Institute
  • Mr Peter Graham, Australasian Association of Clinical Biochemists
  • Mr Peter Gamble. Peter Mac

Day Two - 25 June

  • Ms Roslyn Wilson, NSW Forensic and Analytical Science Service
  • Dr Geoff Hogg, University of Melbourne
  • Dr Axel Colling, Australian Animal Health Labs
  • Dr Paul Armishaw, NMI
  • Dr Melody Caramins, RCPA
  • Dr Michael Dobeson, NMI
  • Dr Melanie O’Keefe, AGRF
  • Ms Michelle McNiven, TGA

A feedback survey following the forum found the range of topics to be of interest and relevant to those attending. Some of the comments received from attendees included:

“I found all of [the presentations] were useful because there are many collateral ways to apply the knowledge even it is not directly related.”.

“No other conference specifically targets this group of laboratory staff and I find this event very rewarding to attend.”

“I think these forums provide an excellent opportunity for peer networking, discussing of current concepts/issues/concerns/solutions; in some instances more value is obtained out of session!”

“I enjoyed being part of the Life Science Quality Manager Forum (even for only one day) and thought that it was very well done, congratulations to all involved in making it a success. Looking forward to the next time it is on.”

“It was a fantastic event- thank you.”

“I think the event was well balanced, interesting and useful. This forum had a good variety of topics and speakers, was well planned, and NATA staff were very helpful and welcoming.”

“Really interesting and useful. All talks were an appropriate length and were engaging.”

“It was a very well organised event – the topics covered were interesting and relevant, and the presenters were engaging.”

"I think it was a very well managed event, and appreciate the opportunity to have attended."

“It was a very valuable forum. The fact that it was also free was great as funding to attend forums, conferences etc. is very difficult.”

The responses from attendees were so encouraging that similar types of events will likely become an ongoing part of NATA’s engagement with accredited facilities.

NATA would like to again thank all the presenters for their excellent and thought provoking presentations, the NMI for hosting the venue and all those who attended and made it such a successful event.

[Note: After the Forum several speakers requested that their presentations could be posted on the NATA website. These can be accessed from our website.]