COLA’s ISO 9001 certification from the British Standards Institute (BSI) covers the delivery and administration of our CLIA-equivalent accreditation program for medical laboratories, including on-site surveys, monitoring proficiency testing, and correcting citations through education and consultation.
In obtaining ISO certification, we opened our organization up to the same type of rigorous, third-party review that we routinely deliver to our clients. This required us to embrace a significant change in culture, and to rededicate ourselves to our mission at a fundamental level. COLA’s commitment to ISO certification demonstrates the kind of continuous approach to quality assessment that we expect of the laboratories we serve.
Maintaining ISO certification requires a commitment to continual improvement of our management system, and extends to our accreditation program. We routinely undergo semi-annual surveillance audits conducted by BSI. Every 3 years, our ISO certification is renewed following a full scale audit of our quality management system. Just as laboratories need to stay up to date with changing regulatory and accreditation requirements, we need to ensure our quality management system continues to evolve to meet the latest ISO standards. In September 2015, a new version of ISO 9001 was published. COLA is currently transitioning to meet the requirements of the revised standard. To maintain our certification, COLA must successfully complete an audit by BSI to confirm compliance with the new requirements.
Through these intensive BSI audits and our own internal improvement audits, we are able to continually monitor, manage and enhance quality across all operations. As a result, COLA has improved its collective ability to deliver value and a higher quality service to our customers.