Does getting a quality management certification keep you up at night?
There's a lot at stake. Invest in the wrong certification and you might end up wasting valuable time, energy, and capital. On the other hand, picking the right quality management certification can give you the knowledge and skills needed to maximize the effectiveness of your organization's quality and risk management programs.
With so many certifications and training courses out there, how do you know which one is right for your life science or medical device manufacturing organization? And beyond that, what are the exact steps that you need to follow to get certified quickly?
5 Steps to Get a Quality Management Certification
Unfortunately, securing a quality management certification is only the first step on a long road towards expert quality and risk management. The fact of the matter is that building and managing an effective quality and risk management plan requires an ongoing commitment with incremental refinements.
To take that first step toward expert quality and risk management, here are the steps you must follow to obtain your quality management certification quickly.
1. Find the Right Quality Management Certification
First things first: Start by narrowing your search.
As a best practice, prioritize certifications delivered by recognized and top-tier organizations within the life sciences industry, including British Standards Institute (BSI), American Society for Quality (ASQ), SGS, Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation (AAMI), and American National Standards Institute (ANSI).
Additionally, consider prioritizing certification programs that align with your organization's most immediate needs. For example, if there's a particular regulatory standard that your organization is working toward, commit to the certifications that support rapid adoption.
2. Understand Course Prerequisites
In many cases, quality management courses come with significant prerequisites. These prerequisites must be completed before enrolling in or being admitted to the quality management program. If your organization has already met course requirements, compile documentation needed to prove prerequisite completion.
If your organization hasn't met course requirements, allocate the resources needed to fulfill those course requirements. In some instances, courses may require you to invest in a quality management system prior to course entry.
RELATED READING: The Best QMS Software: The Pros and Cons of the Top 5 Options
3. Review Quality Management Certification Outline
Be sure to review the quality management certification outline. During your preliminary review, ask yourself the following questions:
- How much does the certification cost?
- How long does the certification take to complete?
- What kind of value will the certification deliver to my organization?
- Is the certification easy to maintain?
4. Allocate Appropriate Time and Resources
As with any major investment, it's important to allocate an appropriate amount of time and resources to the quality management certification. As a best practice, consider "blocking off" your calendar. That way, you can prioritize a specific amount of time each day toward the certification.
Additionally, be sure to dedicate time post-certification to implementation. It's not enough to just get a quality management certification; you need to apply those certification findings to your business or organization!
RELATED READING: The Best Pharmaceutical Quality Assurance Courses Online
5. Maintain the Certification
Finally, once you've passed certification requirements, maintain the certification.
As technology and quality management standards and practices evolve, it is important to stay up-to-date on those changes. Most quality management certification providers require participants to maintain credentials through continuing education.
In most cases, to maintain certification, participants are required to complete a specified amount of course "hours." Additionally, participants may need to submit an application for certification renewal.
Master Quality Management for Your Life Sciences Organization
You've found the perfect quality management certification. Now what?
As a best practice, consider investing in an enterprise quality management system (eQMS) as an ideal next step. The right quality management software can add significant value to the quality management certification.
Today's top eQMS are flexible, cloud-based, and designed for your unique business. There are several top-tier solutions out there, but the best eQMS will align with your business and goals.
To orient your life sciences organization toward the right eQMS, we recommend downloading our free buyer's guide: 12 Questions to Ask Before You Buy an eQMS. Consult this helpful guide before wasting valuable time, energy, and capital on the wrong solution.