New accreditation for a new venture
As a brand-new business, established in November 2020, one of the first tasks Hardness Calibrations set themselves was to gain UKAS accreditation. While accreditation is not mandatory in this sector, around 70% of Hardness Calibrations’ target customer base expect a UKAS accredited calibration certificate.
When speaking with UKAS about their recent grant of accreditation, Hardness Calibrations’ Commercial Manager and Head of Laboratory, Keatan Pangli, stated that
“Accreditation gives customers vital confidence in the competence, processes, quality systems and accuracy of results that we produce. This is why gaining accreditation was considered such a priority as a new company and why we waited until we had achieved this accreditation to offer our services to customers.”
Since achieving their accreditation in February, customers have responded positively to their new business and provided excellent feedback on their calibration services.
Accreditation to facilitate new business opportunities
A further driver to accreditation was a potential partnership with another UKAS accredited body (that is not accredited for hardness). In joining forces with this other laboratory, both organisations are able to offer their customers a broader and better calibration service, an advantageous arrangement for a fledgeling company. In order to make this partnership work it was seen as essential to become UKAS accredited.
As it was commercially imperative to gain the accreditation, Hardness Calibrations were keen to expedite the process as much as possible, and Keatan explained that the COVID-19 pandemic did nothing to help things.
“Our entire assessment was conducted remotely and the use of technology to facilitate the actual assessment process certainly necessitated a steep learning curve. We used Microsoft Teams throughout the assessment, as well as pre-recorded videos and live streaming. Many of the documents we refer to, rely on highly complex calculations, which are easier to talk through in person than on a video call.
We were also subject to the frequent rule-changes during the lockdown period, so it felt as if the goalposts shifted a few times, but we got there in the end.
UKAS did a great job of turning around the admin quickly and everyone at Hardness Calibrations worked day and night to prepare effectively for our assessment. The entire process from application to grant of accreditation took around three months, so our joint efforts and late nights paid off.”
A collaborative process
When asked if he had any tips to share with other organisations embarking on their first accreditation, Keatan advised making good use of your Assessment Manager.
“We referred to our Assessment Manager on a number of occasions. Part of their role is to guide you through the process (without supplying the answers), and they can often highlight the correct avenues for accessing knowledge.”
Keatan found that the assessment process was collaborative and welcomed the feedback the Hardness Calibrations team received.
“Our Assessment Manager did state that he had not seen a better example of the quality of our certification and we were delighted with that comment, as it meant a lot to a young business and endorsed that our team had done a great job.”
A series of firsts
Hardness Calibrations were the first (and only) calibration laboratory to achieve accreditation during the pandemic and also the first organisation to receive their UKAS certificate in the new UKAS branding.
Hardness Calibrations worked tirelessly on gaining their first accreditation so quickly and UKAS congratulates them on their achievement and looks forward to working with them as their new company grows.