The New Look of the AMRL
By Brian Johnson, AAP Program Supervisor
By now, you have probably noticed that we have launched a new website with new colors, a new logo, and cleaner navigation. It’s our freshly paved section of road on the information super-highway. Like all of our readers know, you can pave the smoothest, most beautifully marked road in the world, but if the ground underneath it isn’t stable, you’re not going to enjoy that new road for too long. That is why we are even more excited about the improvements that we have made to our website’s foundation – the data management system. Our data management system doesn’t just keep us organized; it allows us to offer a whole range of new tools for the end-user.
One of the major enhancements to the new system is the corrective action process. Once an AMRL report is written, all of the nonconformities are transferred into an “Accreditation Event,” which is located on your “My Lab” page. From there, you can submit your corrective actions online and upload your supporting evidence. Once you are finished, you can go back to the “Accreditation Event” page and press the “Submit for Review” button, which will notify the Quality Analyst that it is time to review the responses.
The Quality Analyst (QA) reviews the responses, and each is either accepted or rejected through the internal system. Comments from the Quality Analyst are tied to the individual nonconformity in that Accreditation Event, and a system-generated email notifies you once the review has been completed.
To check on the status of a review, just log into your “Accreditation Events.” There you can see whether it is “Under Review” by the Quality Analyst, in our “QA Peer Review” process, or if it is waiting for additional responses from you (“Waiting for Lab”). Once the initial review is complete, all nonconformities will be marked with either a red “X” or a green check so that you know which ones are resolved and which ones are not. This upgrade in the corrective action review process makes our accreditation program much more efficient, and it allows for quicker reviews and processing of accreditation changes.
Our new website includes improved search functions, and allows users to easily search the for accredited laboratories by test method, rather than just location. To search our directory of AASHTO accredited laboratories, click here.
We have taken similar steps with the report-writing process. Each finding is now a data point that can be easily counted and incorporated into a summary of findings, which our customers will be able to view to see the common findings reported throughout the assessment tour.
Another upgrade that we are proud to announce is the new specifier management system. We had some semblance of this system in the past, but with these improvements, we have taken this feature to the next level. Now a specifying agency can request a laboratory’s permission to view their assessment reports and proficiency sample reports, as well as be notified of any changes to a laboratory’s accreditation status. This will help quality managers and project managers stay “in the know” about the laboratories working for them. To view a tutorial on becoming a specifier click here.
Have you ever wanted AMRL to notify you before a suspension for low ratings on a proficiency sample? While our system did not allow us to do this in the past, we will soon be able to automatically notify you any time you either receive low ratings or do not submit data on an AMRL proficiency sample for an accredited test method. This will help you to instantly be made aware of the need to investigate any low ratings and improve your quality of testing.
Finding documents on our website is easier than ever. We have added a library feature to our website that allows you to access information for each of our programs based on subject matter.
Still have trouble finding the information you need? We have added a new search function to our website to search for specific content and documents.
More Upgrades Coming Soon
Many people have asked about how the Cement and Concrete Reference Laboratory’s (CCRL’s) inspection and proficiency sample reports are going to be incorporated into our new system. Right now, we are manually entering all CCRL inspection reports into our “Accreditation Events” system. Eventually, the CCRL inspection data will feed directly into our system the same way as AMRL assessment reports. We will be working closely with CCRL to develop a bridge between their proficiency sample data and our data management system, so that in the future you can get the same functionality in our system whether you are working with CCRL or AMRL.
With all of these new data management upgrades, we are able to offer the organizations that use our programs more functionality and accessibility through the new AMRL website. Please let us know if there are other functions that you would like to see in future releases by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you would like to see a tutorial for laboratories or specifying agencies, you can find them in the drop-down menu under the Home tab on our website.
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