Capacity building for stakeholders along the agriculture sector is key towards enhancing food safety and market access.
In this light, the EU-funded MARKUP Kenya program has been keen on training various stakeholders on different, relevant aspects.
Among the trainings which have happened in the month of November 2021 include:
- Training on implementation of ISO/IEC 17025:2017
- Training on internal audit based on ISO/IEC 17025:2017
- Training in Laboratory Quality Management
- Training in Measurement Traceability
- Training on the Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS)
Having been well trained, laboratory staff (technical as well as quality managers) of KEBS, KEPHIS and NPHL have gained knowledge and are able to implement specific tasks linked to ISO/IEC 17025:2017 with the aim to either apply for accreditation or enhance the scope of their testing services in line with ISO/IEC17025.
Laboratory personnel will be able to
- Implement ISO17025 protocols and procedures in their respective laboratories
- Establish a quality management system
- Carry out internal audits
- Ensure unbroken chain of traceability for their measurements to SI units
- Implement LIMS
According to Stanslaus Masinza, the Manager – Scheme Development, Training and Advocacy at Kenya Accreditation Service (KENAS), trainees were personnel who work in laboratories. These personnel include decision makers who make key decisions including approving results and reports.
“The reason why laboratories seek accreditation is so that they can facilitate trade within the country and across boarders,” noted Masinza
He termed the trainings as ‘very important’ as they incorporated beginners who had not been trained before. For the beginners, it has been an opportunity to learn new things and get ready to offer more and better quality services.
Those who had already been trained had an opportunity to refresh their minds, share ideas with other trainees and offer better services at their respective laboratories.
Says Masinza: “We want to thank MARKUP Kenya for these opportunities. The trainings will impact positively to the market for Kenya’s produce and this impact will trickle across the sectors involved,”
Here is what some trainees had to say:
Beatrice Lugadiru – KEBS
I come from the calibration laboratory and we implement ISO 17025 as part of our quality management system.
This training means that as a calibration laboratory, we are able to implement the standards efficiently and give accurate results which can be used by our customers for their own processes.
After this training, I will do knowledge transfer to at least 10 staff members who work with me in the laboratory.
Geoffrey Malemba – KEPHIS
The training was very useful. As an organization, we implement various tests from our clients.
I am looking forward to increased scope of accreditation. I am optimistic that I will take part in developing standards operating procedures and manuals in readiness for accreditation of the particular laboratory at which I am stationed.
I look forward to more trainings especially on audit so that I can progressively improve on what I do.
Max Mutuku – NPHL
The training has been beneficial in relation to how to implement ISO 17025 quality management system.
Although I had been trained a long time ago, some areas have now come out clearly especially the areas about measurements and uncertainty.