What is a Quality Minute?

Posted by Cathy Wylie on

A Quality Minute is a concise talk about a specific quality system topic that is relevant to the work being done in your laboratory. It is usually included in a team meeting.

The talks can be done in various ways, but are typically a short one to five minute discussions on a quality-related topic. For example:

  • What details should be included in a Corrective Action Report (CAR)?
  • How to store samples in the refrigerator
  • Impact of failing to isolate/tag defective equipment
  • What is the purpose of the equipment maintenance log?

Quality Minutes serve as reminders about the quality system. They reinforce the training you have provided to your staff on your processes and procedures, and on the requirements of the ISO/IEC 17025 standard.

Whenever possible, make your Quality Minute interactive. For example, if your Quality Minute topic is on trends in control charts, instead of presenting a series of slides reminding people about the trends to watch, challenge your staff to spot the trends. Print out several control charts – some with the trends you want them to be following up on and some that do not have trends. Put them up on the wall and invite your staff to look them over and pick out any trends they see.

When you give people an opportunity to do something that is hands on, they tend to remember the details, and apply what they learned.

How often should you do Quality Minutes?

The frequency of your Quality Minutes depends on many factors, including the maturity of your quality system, the rate of staff turnover, and how much focus you have put on your quality system in your training. Some laboratories do Quality Minutes every week; others do them once a month.

How much information should be in a Quality Minute?

Keep it short and focused on one issue. The idea of the Quality Minute is to remind people about an aspect of the quality system – not to teach a new set of skills. The Quality Minute should be short, so there is only time to focus on one issue.

Sharing and learning opportunity

Join the discussion by commenting on this blog post and providing your suggestions for Quality Minutes for your ISO/IEC 17025 quality system. 


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