World Quality Month and year-end quality in perspective

By Kelly Huckabone

December 2020

November marked World Quality Month and I thought we should take some time to reflect on what that actually means. Celebrating World Quality Day and World Quality Month are great opportunities to highlight how important quality is within the workplace. Quality is that silent stoic backbone to our processes and operations and although it is not celebrated every day, without it we would not be meeting customer and regulatory requirements.

Thermo Fisher Scientific celebrated World Quality Month by submitting nominations for employees who acted as “quality heroes” demonstrating quality best practices, but not necessarily members of the Quality Team. We had over 25 nominations that included amazing examples of where our employees felt empowered to identify a concern and tackle the solution head on using some of our quality tools. We highlighted each story on our internal communications page, sharing success stories from across the globe. It was a very powerful and engaging experience for everyone involved.

This will be our last article for 2020 and I wanted to leave you with some thoughts as you close out your year. Make sure you have taken care to follow up on any open internal audit findings. It’s always best to start the year off with a clean slate. It’s a great idea to establish your internal audit plan early in the year and spread the audits out throughout the year to minimize operational impact.

One thing a lot of people tend to forget is to check the expiration dates of their ISO certificates and any other regulatory licenses. This is highly important as it can impact your customers. As you establish your 2021 quality objectives, use any data you have collected throughout the year (KPIs, internal/external audit findings/SCARS, etc.) to identify areas that you want to focus on for improvement in 2021.

Thank you for following and stay safe.

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About the author

Kelly Huckabone is the North American Audit Program Manager who oversees the Unity™ Lab Services internal and external customer and supplier audit programs. Kelly is a certified risk manager, lead auditor with the American Society for Quality (ASQ), and has been conducting audits for over 25 years for different quality systems, including ISO 9001, 13485, and 17025, as well as Health Canada and the FDA.

Contact me at if you have any questions.