2019 Tech Forum - Schedule & Agenda

2019 Tech Forum

March 28-31
Reston, Virginia

Be part of one of the accreditation industry’s largest annual events.

Schedule and Agenda

Our program is designed to give attendees educational sessions, tools to improve quality, opportunities for professional development, discussion into accreditation matters, networking, the chance to hear and converse with industry experts, and technical best practices. There is something for everyone no matter where you are in your career. As you plan your schedule, keep in mind that session space is limited and available on a first-come-first-serve basis. We do ask that attendees register for sessions ahead of time so that we have a good headcount. Most of our sessions are not repeated, but we will have slides or handouts available for most sessions ahead of time through our event app. More information on the app will be available closer to the event.

A2LA is offering training and workshops preceding and following the tech forum. These exciting sessions expand on topics covered in the tech forum and provides participants with case studies and tools that can be used in professional development and business improvement. The events preceding the forum can be found in the training area of the A2LA website. Attendees can register for the post-forum workshops right through the forum registration. All of these sessions are available at an additional fee.

 


Please note the following schedule for the 2019 Tech Forum. Some sessions are marked with an asterisk (*) because they are by invitation only or otherwise restricted to certain stakeholder groups. Please see the session description for details.

 

  • Time: 8:45am - 10:45am
  • Location: Grand Ballroom F
  • Admission: General
An open forum for assessors, accredited 3PAOs and IAOs, and interested parties to come together and discuss cybersecurity and accreditation. Topics to be discussed include updates to the FedRAMP program, our partnership with the Baltimore Cyber Range for the technical proficiency activity, and the launch and current state of the Cybersecurity Inspection Body Program.
 
  • Time: 10:00am - 1:15pm
  • Location: Grand Ballroom G
  • Admission: Assessors Only
The ISO/IEC 17043 and ISO 17034 Assessor Technical Training Course is designed to formally qualify current A2LA Assessors to act as technical assessors when assessing organizations accredited to ISO/IEC 17043 or ISO 17034.  Please note that this is not a public session and is being held by invite only. Boxed lunch will be provided.
 
  • Time: 11:00am - 12:00pm
  • Location: Grand Ballroom F
  • Admission: Assessors Only
An assessor forum to discuss any opportunities and challenges, offer training, address action items, and overall discussion to ensure clarity and consistency amongst assessors assessing to the cyber program area. Boxed lunch will be provided.
 
  • Time: 12:30pm - 1:30pm
  • Location: Grand Ballroom F
  • Admission: General
The scope of this Committee is the development of accreditation and assessment guidelines, positions, explanations of relevant standards and recommendations to the Association in the area of inspection body accreditation. Project selection for this Committee is coordinated with other A2LA advisory committees, as appropriate, and with other organizations and individuals in the subject area, so that unnecessary duplication of effort is minimized. The Committee, as coordinated with or requested by A2LA, represents A2LA to various groups with a stake in the standards development process (e.g., FedRAMP, ICC) within the areas enveloped by the Committee. The target audience is association members, council or committee members, registered participants, and assessors.
 
  • Time: 1:30pm - 3:00pm
  • Location: Grand Ballroom G
  • Admission: General
The scope of this Committee is to provide guidance on the development of accreditation requirements for proficiency testing providers. The Committee also addresses issues/concerns related to any accredited proficiency testing providers relevant to its scope of work. The target audience is for association members, council or committee members, registered participants, and assessors.
 
  • Time: 2:00pm - 4:00pm
  • Location: Grand Ballroom F
  • Admission: General
The scope of this Committee is the development of accreditation and assessment guidelines, positions, applications of relevant standards and recommendations in the area of product certification. The Committee, as coordinated with or requested by A2LA, represents A2LA to various groups with a stake in the standards development process (e.g., FCC, EPA, DOE, SGIP, IEC, ASTM) within the areas enveloped by the Committee. The target audience attendees are product certifiers, scheme owners, association members, council or committee members, registered participants, and assessors.
 
  • Time: 2:45pm - 4:45pm
  • Location: Grand Ballroom E
  • Admission: General
The scope of this Committee is the development of accreditation and assessment guidelines in accordance with the ISO/IEC 17025 and ISO/IEC 17020 requirements and any other requirements that are applicable for organizations performing testing or inspection-related activities for criminal and civil law or regulatory purposes. Target audience for this meeting are forensic testing and inspection (crime scene) facilities, association members, council or committee members, registered participants and assessors.
 
  • Time: 3:15pm - 4:45pm
  • Location: Grand Ballroom G
  • Admission: General
The scope of this Committee is to provide guidance on the development of accreditation requirements for reference material producers. The Committee also addresses issues/concerns related to any accredited reference material producers relevant to its scope of work. The target audience is for association members, council or committee members, registered participants, and assessors.
 
  • Time: 4:15pm - 6:15pm
  • Location: Grand Ballroom F
  • Admission: Assessors Only
An assessor forum to discuss any opportunities and challenges, offer training, address action items, and overall discussion to ensure clarity and consistency amongst assessors assessing to the TCB program area.
 
  • Time: 5:00pm - 6:00pm
  • Location: Grand Ballroom E
  • Admission: Assessors Only
An assessor forum to discuss any opportunities and challenges, offer training, address action items, and overall discussion to ensure clarity and consistency amongst assessors assessing to the forensic program area.
 
  • Time: 5:00pm - 6:00pm
  • Location: Grand Ballroom G
  • Admission: Assessors Only
An assessor forum to discuss any opportunities and challenges, offer training, address action items, and overall discussion to ensure clarity and consistency amongst assessors assessing to the RMP and PTP program areas.
 
  • Time: 6:30pm - 7:30pm
  • Location: Grand Ballroom F
  • Admission: TAC Chairs Only
The Impartiality Committee is responsible for the provision of guidance to A2LA for identified risks to impartiality. The intent of this meeting is for the committee to review risks to impartiality and identify opportunities to address these risks.  This meeting is by invitation only.
 
  • Time: 8:00am - 8:30am
  • Location: Lake Anne B
  • Admission: General
  • Presenter: Robert J. Morgan, Director Technical Committee Operations, ASTM International
This presentation will focus on ASTM International's Committee D37 on Cannabis. Included will be a brief overview of ASTM's history as a problem solver and, an explanation of how an open and transparent process, that enables all industry stakeholders to shape to content of standards, will raise the bar for the industry. Partnerships have been created to avoid duplication and share resources to accelerate standards development. This session will also address how standards are used in the marketplace, and referenced in Regulations. An overview of Committee D37's scope and structure, as well as a general description of the subcommittees, will provide some clarity to the ongoing work and standards approved this far.
 
Bob Morgan has a Bachelor's Degree in Geoenvironmental Science from Shippensburg University and has spent over 35 years working for ASTM International. Bob provides the standards development resources for the development of standard guides, practices, test methods and specifications in an open and transparent process, ensuring that all points of view are considered. In his current position as Director of Technical Committee Operations, Bob is responsible for the operations that support 40 Technical Committees in developing voluntary consensus standards. Bob is also directly involved with ASTM’s Committee D37 on Cannabis which consists of nearly 500 members representing 14 countries.
 
  • Time: 8:00am - 9:30am
  • Location: Grand Ballroom E-G
  • Admission: General
Formerly known as the "CAB Session", this new annual series is aimed at our clients and matters that directly affect and relate to them. The session will cover the value that A2LA accreditation brings to its clients, upcoming news, and case studies of accredited organizations that includes best practices for success.
 
  • Time: 8:00am - 9:00am
  • Location: Lake Audubon
  • Admission: General
  • Presenter: Ashton Lough, The Winery at Bull Run
Join Ashton Lough, an award-winning winemaker from The Winery at Bull Run, for a 45-minute presentation followed by time for questions as he explores the three basic stages of the wine making process; fermentation, aging, and bottling. He will focus on the instruments used and quantitative data gathered to make the best decisions for commercial wine production. His presentation will also answer the following questions: Does detailed chemical analysis at each stage make a better wine? Where does the science of winemaking begin to interfere with the artistry of winemaking and vice versa?
 
Ashton Lough started making wine for The Winery at Bull Run in 2012 and is responsible for all aspects of our winemaking. Ashton has worked as a winemaker since he graduated from the University of Georgia with degrees in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. Throughout his career in the wine industry he has received numerous awards including best winemaker, four years in a row. He says it took him 43 years to figure out where his passion lies, and it’s in being a winemaker—"Making wine is the only job I've ever had in which I haven't thought about doing something else."
 
  • Time: 8:00am - 9:00am
  • Location: Regency Ballroom A
  • Admission: General
  • Presenter: Tim Osborne, Sr. Director of Training Services, A2LA
This session will explore the implementation of ISO/IEC 17025:2017 one year later - lessons learned, best practices, and looking forward.
 
Tim serves as the Sr. Director of Training Services at A2LA. Most recently, he was the Director of Quality for Trescal, Inc., where he developed, oversaw and participated in the training program which included courses on management systems, system processes, measurements and data analysis tools. Most of these classes were offered to customers. Tim also functions as the VP of Operations for NCSL International and was the VP of Standards and Practices for NCSLI and the Chair of the 174 Standards Committee. He participated in and oversaw the development of the ANSI/NCSL Z540.3 Handbook and several Recommended Practices. Tim also represents NCSLI, a liaison organization to ISO, as a technical expert on Working Group (WG) 44 which is responsible for the crafting of ISO/IEC 17025:2017. He has also volunteered at NCSLI by offering tutorials on accreditation, traceability and measurement methods and uncertainty, serving on panel discussions, and co-leading road shows.
 
  • Time: 8:00am - 9:30am
  • Location: Lake Fairfax
  • Admission: General
  • Presenters: John and Palona Carson
This is an introductory overview course designed to provide participants with a foundation to the fundamental concepts of statistics. Statistical concepts and methods are presented in a way that emphasizes understanding the principles of data collection and analysis. This session is an abbreviated version of a one-day workshop offered by A2LA.
 
John Carson, PhD statistician has over 35 years of experience in environmental science and statistics. He has worked on numerous projects involving application of statistics to problems in quality, analytical chemistry and environmental analysis. He developed a new method for determining lower limits of quantitation for measurement in analytical chemistry (LCMRL) and a database and statistical system for the use of clams in real-time toxicity testing of drinking water sources. Mr. Carson is owner and Principal statistician at P&J Carson Consulting, LLC. He is also Chairman of Subcommittee E11.30 Statistical Quality Control and member of Committee E50 on Environmental Assessment, Risk Management and Corrective Action at ASTM International and coordinator of Data Points column in ASTM Standardization News
 
Polona Carson, PhD, MBA is an analytical chemist with more than 20 years of experience managing analytical laboratory and laboratory quality systems. She is an expert in sampling and avid promoter of using control charts for monitoring analytical measurement systems. Ms. Carson was representative of Republic of Slovenia on several Expert Panels for harmonization of methodology for laboratory analyses and quality control in European Forest Monitoring program. In 2007 she established P&J Carson Consulting, LLC. Since then she provided training in sampling, laboratory quality control and statistics to many laboratory professionals. Ms. Carson is currently Secretary of Committee E11 Quality and Statistics at ASTM International.
 
  • Time: 8:30am - 10:00am
  • Location: Lake Anne B
  • Admission: General
A breakout session for those interested on updates in the cannabis testing industry. Laboratories that currently or wish to test cannabis or hemp products, as well as assessors, legislators, specifiers, and regulators.
 
  • Time: 9:30am - 10:30am
  • Location: Lake Audubon
  • Admission: General
  • Presenter: Stephen Stern, Partner with Hyatt & Weber
Businesses enter into many contracts – vendor agreements, service agreements, customer agreements, lease agreements, licensing agreements, and various other agreements. While there are many "template" or "form" agreements available for companies to use, whether from prior business relationships or on the Internet, it is important to understand what the terms of those agreements mean before signing on the dotted line and committing your organization to specific terms and conditions. Moreover, every company has its own business needs and risk tolerance, and each business relationship presents its own risks. Those needs and risks should be addressed on a contract by contract basis. It is seldom that an agreement in one context will necessarily be the perfect fit for another context. Contracts should be drafted to meet the needs of the particular business relationship and to protect each company’s business needs in the context of the relationship that is about to be entered into or renewed. Sometimes having a poorly drafted contract can result in hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars in costs, losses, or other damage.

This session will provide guidance on contract terms that should be considered and how to draft contracts that are designed to better protect your company's business interests, including how to read and draft contacts as a whole.
 
Stephen Stern is a partner with Hyatt & Weber, where he advises businesses and represents them in litigation. Mr. Stern helps companies develop effective employment policies and practices and negotiates/reviews contracts, such as vendor, client, services, lease, and subcontractor agreements. Mr. Stern also has successfully represented clients in courts and before administrative agencies around the country in employment and business disputes.
 
  • Time: 9:30am - 10:00am
  • Location: Grand Ballroom E-G
  • Admission: General
  • Presenter: Mark Ruefenacht
Americans are fascinated with celebrity chefs. If you have ever watched a professional chef prepare and cook a meal, you have probably watched a process and mindset called "mise-en-place" (pronounced: "me's on plahhs"). A French term meaning "put in place." The concept is to prepare, gather, and arrange the ingredients and tools needed to cook. Implementing mise-en-place concept in a metrology or testing laboratory will increase efficiency and better utilize resources. A central tenet of mise-en-place is "working clean." Practical applications and examples of mise-en-place in the metrology or testing laboratory will be illustrated.
 
Mark Ruefenacht shares his time as an employee with Rice Lake Weighing Systems as the Technical Director of Precision Products and as a contract employee at the National Institute of Standards & Technology (NIST) teaching courses on metrology, measurement traceability, and measurement uncertainty. Additionally, he provides ongoing technical training and consultation to various ISO/IEC 17025 & ISO 17020 accrediting bodies, calibration laboratories, forensic laboratories, pharmaceuticals, and technology companies (Silicon Valley).

For over 30 years, Mark has developed and implemented quality management systems, administered ISO/IEC 17025 accreditation. and has been responsible for the technical operations of calibration laboratories. He has specialized in the highest levels of mass/weight calibrations and mass-related measurements (e.g., balances/scales, force, torque, pipettes, volume, etc.), pharmaceutical measurements, and forensic measurements.

Mark also teaches principles of metrological traceability and uncertainty at various international conferences, and contracts with various governmental and commercial organizations to conduct and assist with internal and technical audits for compliance with ISO/IEC 17025 and accreditation requirements.
 
  • Time: 10:00am - 12:00pm
  • Location: Lake Anne A
  • Admission: A2LA Trainers
A session for A2LA public trainers that includes training, discussion, and action items to leverage opportunities for the public training program.
 
  • Time: 11:00am - 12:00pm
  • Location: Grand Ballroom E-G
  • Admission: General
  • Presenters: Scott Renkes and Karen Arrivillaga of Qualtrax
Organizations can eliminate administrative bottlenecks, enhance efficiencies and create better visibility through the use of automated processes, also referred to as workflows.

Every organization has business processes-- but when those processes are performed manually, they can quickly become a drain on time and resources. That’s where process automation comes in. Digitizing previous paper-based on manual processes through workflows supports quality and compliance in a number of ways to include ensuring consistent and reportable completion of tasks and minimizing the risk of human error.

In this presentation, demos of workflows and various use-cases for the application of process automation will be shown.

Qualtrax is a compliance software solution that manages documents, processes, training, and accreditations. Virtually any process can be automated in Qualtrax, enabling businesses to increase efficiency, minimize time and resource spend, reduce risk, and consistently manage processes across their entire organization.
 
Scott has been part of the Qualtrax team as a Sales Executive and Manager since 2005. He graduated from Virginia Tech with a Bachelor’s of Science in Business. Scott has been working with laboratory clients for the past 10 years and has experience applying best practices to ensure that Qualtrax software is the right fit and best implement our technology.
 
Karen has been with Qualtrax since 2015, with focus in the laboratory space. She graduated from Virginia Tech with a Bachelor’s in Consumer Economics. Karen has over 6 years of experience selling technology solutions, and is passionate about finding the best ways to use software to manage accreditation, simplify compliance, and inspire a culture of quality. She’s a proud member of the Qualtrax internal audit team, which recently assisted with it's transition to ISO/IEC 9001:2015.
 
  • Time: 1:00pm - 5:00pm
  • Location: Grand Ballroom E-G
  • Admission: General
The scope of this Committee is the development of accreditation guidelines for biological, chemical and environmental laboratories. The Committee also addresses issues/concerns related to any accredited product certification bodies, proficiency testing providers and reference material producers relevant to its scope. The target audience is for association members, council or committee members, registered participants, and assessors.
 
  • Time: 1:00pm - 5:00pm
  • Location: Lake Audubon
  • Admission: General
The scope of this Committee is the development of accreditation guidelines, positions, and recommendations for electrical, electromagnetic compatibility (EMC), product safety, telecom, environmental simulation [e.g. vibration, acceleration, rain, salt and moisture exposure, dust, thermal and humidity cycling, thermal and vibration shock, high/low temperature, low pressure (altitude), contamination by fluids, solar radiation (sunshine), fungus, explosive atmosphere, immersion, acoustic noise, life cycle/durability etc.], software, wireless, Bluetooth, specific absorption ratio (SAR), electro-mechanical functional and characteristic (e.g. dielectric, strength, resistance, etc.), and stress (e.g. highly accelerated life test and stress simulation, stress screening, etc.) testing. The Committee also addresses issues/concerns related to any accredited product certification bodies and proficiency testing providers that are relevant to its scope of work. The target audience is association members, council or committee members, registered participants, and assessors.
 
  • Time: 1:00pm - 5:00pm
  • Location: Lake Fairfax
  • Admission: General
The scope of this Committee is the development of accreditation guidelines for testing laboratories performing the following types of materials and product testing: mechanical, chemical, non-destructive, thermal, electrical, transportation, and fasteners. The Committee also addresses issues/concerns related to any accredited product certification bodies and proficiency testing providers relevant to its scope of work. The target audience is for association members, council or committee members, registered participants, and assessors.
 
  • Time: 1:00pm - 6:00pm
  • Location: Regency Ballroom A
  • Admission: General
The scope of this Committee is to develop guidelines and provide guidance related to calibration, measurement traceability, measurement uncertainty, dimensional inspection, reference materials, and measurement audits (proficiency testing). The Committee addresses the issues and concerns related to any proficiency testing providers relevant to its scope of work. The target audience is association members, council or committee members, registered participants, and assessors.
 
  • Time: 5:00pm - 6:00pm
  • Location: Regency Ballroom B
  • Admission: General
  • Presenter: Josef Martens PhD CSP
This keynote program is about leading your team on their quest to shape the future and drive the success of the organization. Learn how to build trust, success & connections with your stakeholders. Participants will leave with toolbox packed with instantly applicable techniques, ideas and methods to give you a smart, proven, communication-based approach to the challenges and opportunities you face every day. As an outcome, you will gain influence, impact and drive innovation in your organization.
 
Josef Martens helps organizations move their innovation and strategy efforts from good to great. Having completed his PhD in physics at the University of Cambridge, he was awarded several patents, and ushered a spin-off company through an IOP.

Throughout all this, Josef discovered that expertise is vastly overrated, and that other factors matter much more. Josef shares these factors in his keynote and training programs, and he helps individuals and organizations power-up their quest for new solutions: leaders gain impact, influence and innovation.

Over the past two decades, Josef has conducted programs in over 30 countries across six continents for corporate and Government clients, for associations and on the TEDx stage. His speaking skills have earned him the highest international designation of the National Speakers Association, which has been awarded to only about 700 speakers in the world.
 
  • Time: 6:00pm - 7:00pm
  • Location: Grand Ballrooms A - D
  • Admission: General
Join A2LA staff, representatives from conformity assessment bodies, A2LA assessors, and other stakeholders in a private ballroom for mingling and networking. Enjoy cocktails at the cash/credit bar as you visit and chat with your fellow attendees. Drinks provided by QMSC.
 
 
  • Time: 7:00am - 8:00am
  • Location: Grand Ballrooms E - G
  • Admission: Members Only
Join fellow A2LA members for a networking session to kick off an education-packed day at the Technical Forum. Complimentary breakfast and coffee will be provided at no additional cost. Please note this session is for A2LA members only.
 
 
  • Time: 8:00am - 9:00am
  • Location: Grand Ballrooms E - G
  • Admission: Members Only
Join us for an introductory session on making the most of your A2LA membership. We will review the many benefits included with your A2LA membership. We will also go through a live demo of the A2LA Membership Portal, including accessing the members-only discussion group and downloading exclusive membership content.
 
 
  • Time: 8:00am - 10:00am
  • Location: Lake Fairfax
  • Admission: General
The scope of this Committee is the development of accreditation guidelines for construction materials, geotechnical, and putting green materials testing laboratories, as well as for inspection bodies. The Committee also addresses the issues and concerns related to any proficiency testing providers that are relevant to its scope of work. The target audience is association members, council or committee members, registered participants, and assessors.
 
 
  • Time: 8:00am - 9:00am
  • Location: Lake Anne
  • Admission: General
  • Presenter: Karen Reczek, NIST Program Manager
It has been almost 10 years since the National Research Council issued a critical report citing a lack of scientific research supporting some of the testing and opinions being offered in court, and lack of uniformity in the way forensic laboratories approached cases, potentially impacting the reliability of the work being done, and leading to cases being dismissed, or wrongful convictions. Has the community since been successful in bringing standardization to forensics? Learn about the history and challenges associated with standardization in forensics and get up to date information on current forensics standards development activities nationally, regionally and internationally.
 
Karen Reczek, is a program manager in the Standard Coordination Office at the National Institute of Standards and Technology. Karen’s current role includes spending most of her time supporting the Organization of Scientific Area Committees for Forensic Science (OSAC), a NIST administered organization. Karen is a member of the OSAC Forensic Science Standards Board, and she Chairs the OSAC Quality Infrastructure Committee. Karen is also leading the NIST team that is planning the next generation of OSAC, OSAC 2.0. Karen is currently serves on the SES:The Society For Standards Professionals Board of Directors as the Education Council Director. Karen has a BS Double Major in Social Sciences and Humanities, from Clarkson University and a Masters in Library Science from State University of NY at Buffalo.
 
  • Time: 8:00am - 9:30am
  • Location: Reston ABC
  • Admission: General
  • Presenter: Dawn Mettler
Participants will obtain an overview of method validation, understand conceptual differences to topics such as quality control/quality assurance, and method validation/method verification. Discussions will focus on the elements that appropriately validate an analytical method with respect to method type. A2LA offers a full day training course on this subject for those interested in learning more in greater detail.
 
Dawn Mettler is a quality systems assessor and technical consultant for biological, chemical, pharmaceutical, environmental, veterinary and biodefense/select agent laboratories. She has over twenty years of experience in performing microbiological and analytical processes; over 25 years of experience in veterinary diagnostics and processes; and 15 years of experience in the biodefense arena. She has a Bachelor of Science from The Ohio State University. She has held the positions of Quality Assurance Manager, Operations Manager, Chemical Safety Officer, Laboratory Specialist and Special Projects Manager for large food testing laboratories and R&D facilities. Ms. Mettler has performed over 350 assessments using the ISO/IEC 17025, ISO 9001, ISO/IEC 17020, ISO/IEC 17065, Guide 34/35, ISO 17034 and ISO 17043 standards. She is an experienced trainer and has developed customized microbiological, chemical, & quality system courses using these standards, and she has presented over 150 training courses in the last eight years.
 
  • Time: 8:00am - 10:00am
  • Location: Lake Thoreau
  • Admission: General
  • Presenter: Dilip Shah, E = mc3 Solutions
The requirement for measurement uncertainty has been present in standards like ISO/IEC 17025 and its predecessor the, ISO Guide 25. Many other standards require it indirectly one way or the another through the requirement for metrological traceability whose definition was redefined in ISO Guide 99:2007. Over the years, the process of evaluation of measurement uncertainty has evolved. The requirements from accrediting bodies has been fine tuned. But, the confusion about evaluating measurement uncertainty remains large with varying interpretations and incorrect information across the Conformity Assessment Bodies (CAB). This presentation outlines best practices in evaluating measurement uncertainty for both calibration and testing laboratories for compliance with ISO/IEC 17025 requirements. It identifies common mistakes, assumptions made and provides guidance for developing a measurement uncertainty budget that can be easily understood, defended and maintained over time. It takes some of the key points covered from A2LA Measurement Uncertainty Training Workshops to provide a summary of good practices in developing and maintaining measurement uncertainty budgets.
 
Dilip A. Shah has over 40 years of industry experience in metrology, electronics, instrumentation, measurement and computer applications of statistics in the Quality Assurance areas. Dilip is an ASQ Fellow and certified by American Society for Quality (ASQ) as a Certified Quality Auditor, Certified Quality Engineer and Certified Calibration Technician. Dilip is the co-author of The Metrology Handbook published by the ASQ Quality Press.

Dilip has served as a Member of the A2LA Board of Directors (2006-2014). Dilip is a Chief Technical Officer for Workplace Training Inc. and Sapphire Proficiency Testing which provides many measurement-related training and proficiency testing options to the industry. Besides being an A2LA Trainer, Dilip is a frequent contributor to the ASQ Quality Progress Magazine’s Measure for Measure column and ASQ Expert Answers Blog Contributor.
 
  • Time: 9:15am - 10:45am
  • Location: Regency Ballroom
  • Admission: General
This session will cover overviews and news from A2LA accreditation programs, including Cyber, Cannabis, Forensics, and more in emerging markets and with cross-discipline potential. Learn more about the programs and how they may apply to your business through presentations and face-to-face interactions with the program leads.
 
 
  • Time: 9:15am - 9:45am
  • Location: Lake Audubon
  • Admission: General
  • Presenter: Dr. Jonathan McGrath, Senior Policy Analyst for Forensic Sciences at the U.S. Department of Justice's National Institute of Justice (NIJ), Office of Investigative and Forensic Sciences
This presentation will discuss accreditation of forensic science services as well as the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) program activities to support accreditation initiatives (Coverdell National Forensic Science Improvement Grant Program, Strengthening the Medical Examiner-Coroner System Program).  This presentation will include an overview of current national accreditation activities, supplemental forensic requirements, and current topics for application to digital forensics. While some accreditation activities may be distinct to forensic sciences, several concepts will be beneficial to industries with a nexus to criminal, civil, or regulatory testing and that encounter similar objectives to enhance operational flexibility.
 
Dr. Jonathan McGrath is the Senior Policy Analyst for Forensic Sciences at the U.S. Department of Justice's National Institute of Justice (NIJ), Office of Investigative and Forensic Sciences in Washington, DC. He supports NIJ's programs in forensic science research and development and capacity enhancement for forensic laboratories and medical examiner and coroner offices. Prior to joining NIJ in 2015, he worked as a forensic scientist with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection's Laboratories in Houston, TX, where he performed laboratory analysis to support CBP examinations of imported merchandise and forensic evidence, including digital evidence, latent prints, and controlled substances, and frequently conducted mobile security operations and trainings across the country. He was promoted in 2011 to serve as a Science Officer at the CBP Laboratories Headquarters in Washington, DC where he supported CBP's trade, forensic, and WMD operations programs. He earned a Ph.D. in analytical chemistry from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 2007, a M.S. in Forensic Science at the University of Illinois at Chicago in 2002, and B.S. in Chemistry from the University of Dallas in 2001.
 
  • Time: 10:15am - 11:15am
  • Location: Reston ABC
  • Admission: General
  • Presenter: Pam Wright, Quality Manager, A2LA
This overview is designed for laboratory managers or trainers and provides guidance for designing and implementing training that is effective for adult learners. This session summarizes the use of several training tools and techniques, such as Blooms Taxonomy, Kirkpatrick, SAM and ADDIE, etc., a manager or trainer might apply with their audience. This session is an abbreviated version of a one-day workshop offered by A2LA.
 
Pam Wright is the Quality Manager with the American Association for Laboratory Accreditation (A2LA) where she joined the organization in 2003. Her main responsibilities include managing the quality system and as a staff liaison for the Criteria Council. She is also a staff trainer, speaks publicly at professional meetings and conferences, is a Lead Quality System Assessor and a peer evaluator for APLAC and IAAC. Ms Wright has a B.S. degree in Biology form Towson University in Towson, Maryland and is pursuing her M.S. in Instructional Design.
 
  • Time: 10:15am - 11:15am
  • Location: Grand Ballroom E-G
  • Admission: General
  • Presenter: Tim Osborne, Sr. Director of Training Services, A2LA
This session will explore the implementation of ISO/IEC 17025:2017 one year later - lessons learned, best practices, and looking forward.
 
Tim serves as the Sr. Director of Training Services at A2LA. Most recently, he was the Director of Quality for Trescal, Inc., where he developed, oversaw and participated in the training program which included courses on management systems, system processes, measurements and data analysis tools. Most of these classes were offered to customers. Tim also functions as the VP of Operations for NCSL International and was the VP of Standards and Practices for NCSLI and the Chair of the 174 Standards Committee. He participated in and oversaw the development of the ANSI/NCSL Z540.3 Handbook and several Recommended Practices. Tim also represents NCSLI, a liaison organization to ISO, as a technical expert on Working Group (WG) 44 which is responsible for the crafting of ISO/IEC 17025:2017. He has also volunteered at NCSLI by offering tutorials on accreditation, traceability and measurement methods and uncertainty, serving on panel discussions, and co-leading road shows.
 
  • Time: 10:15am - 12:00pm
  • Location: Lake Fairfax
  • Admission: General
  • Presenter: Assessors Only
An assessor forum to discuss any opportunities and challenges, offer training, address action items, and overall discussion to ensure clarity and consistency amongst assessors assessing to the NDT program area. This meeting only occurs every other year.
 
 
  • Time: 11:00am - 12:00pm
  • Location: Lake Thoreau
  • Admission: General
  • Presenter: Patrice Siravo, Director of Cybersecurity for System High Corporation
ISO/IEC 17025:2017 requires laboratories to implement procedures that protect the integrity and confidentiality of data that is collected, stored, processed, or transmitted through computers or automated equipment. (This requirement is also included in ISO 17020 clause 6.2.13). But what does that really mean to a laboratory IT department? What should laboratories consider, security-wise, when building their in-house IT networks or selecting a cloud-based solution? This session will present some real-life examples of risks and solutions in the rapidly-changing world of IT security. The discussion will be platform-agnostic. The focus will be on how to plan, verify, and maintain an effective IT security solution that any laboratory or business can achieve with basic IT knowledge. The process will lean heavily on the NIST Risk Management Framework and security controls, but it will not be a detailed walkthrough of the framework itself. Rather, it will be an introduction to the benefits of implementing a security framework, and some guidance on how to get started.
 
Patrice Siravo is the Director of Cybersecurity for System High Corporation. She has 25 years of experience in multiple fields, including Cybersecurity, Systems Engineering, and Acquisition Program Management. She is an A2LA Assessor, focused on IT laboratories and the FedRAMP program. Patrice has a BS in Astronautical Engineering from the US Air Force Academy, an MS in Systems Engineering from Colorado Technical University, and currently holds the CISSP, CEH, and CPT credentials. She enjoys teaching cybersecurity courses to IT professionals and business leaders across the country to improve their ability to protect their critical business information. Patrice is married to Brian and has two teenagers who keep her life interesting. She is also a USA Archery Certified Instructor, and in her spare time, you'll find her in the woods shooting 3D and target archery with her family.
 
  • Time: 1:00pm - 3:00pm
  • Location: Grand Ballroom E-G
  • Admission: General
  • Presenter: Tim Osborne, Sr. Director of Training Services, A2LA
This course provides an overview of risk-based thinking from an international standards perspective. The participant will learn risk concepts from ISO 31000 and ISO 9000 and become familiar with industry tools used to assess and manage risk in the ISO conformity assessment arena.  This session is an abbreviated version of a one-day workshop offered by A2LA.
 
Tim serves as the Sr. Director of Training Services at A2LA. Most recently, he was the Director of Quality for Trescal, Inc., where he developed, oversaw and participated in the training program which included courses on management systems, system processes, measurements and data analysis tools. Most of these classes were offered to customers. Tim also functions as the VP of Operations for NCSL International and was the VP of Standards and Practices for NCSLI and the Chair of the 174 Standards Committee. He participated in and oversaw the development of the ANSI/NCSL Z540.3 Handbook and several Recommended Practices. Tim also represents NCSLI, a liaison organization to ISO, as a technical expert on Working Group (WG) 44 which is responsible for the crafting of ISO/IEC 17025:2017. He has also volunteered at NCSLI by offering tutorials on accreditation, traceability and measurement methods and uncertainty, serving on panel discussions, and co-leading road shows.
 
  • Time: 1:00pm - 3:00pm
  • Location: Lake Anne
  • Admission: Assessors Only
An assessor forum to discuss any opportunities and challenges, offer training, address action items, and overall discussion to ensure clarity and consistency amongst assessors assessing to the calibration program area.
 
 
  • Time: 1:00pm - 3:00pm
  • Location: Lake Audubon
  • Admission: Assessors Only
An assessor forum to discuss any opportunities and challenges, offer training, address action items, and overall discussion to ensure clarity and consistency amongst assessors assessing to the materials testing program area.
 
 
  • Time: 1:00pm - 3:00pm
  • Location: Regency Ballroom
  • Admission: Assessors Only
An assessor forum to discuss any opportunities and challenges, offer training, address action items, and overall discussion to ensure clarity and consistency amongst assessors assessing to the life sciences testing program area.
 
 
  • Time: 1:00pm - 3:00pm
  • Location: Reston ABC
  • Admission: Assessors Only
An assessor forum to discuss any opportunities and challenges, offer training, address action items, and overall discussion to ensure clarity and consistency amongst assessors assessing to the electromagnetic program area.
 
 
  • Time: 3:15pm - 4:15pm
  • Location: Regency Ballroom
  • Admission: General
A forum for AC members and anyone interested in joining the Accreditation Council to discuss related matters and potential changes in the A2LA Accreditation programs. The Accreditation Council makes decisions on granting, denying, or withdrawing accreditation, based on the assessment and evaluation provided by the A2LA staff and assessors.
 
 
  • Time: 1:00pm - 3:00pm
  • Location: Lake Thoreau
  • Admission: General
  • Presenter: Dean Williams
This workshop starts by providing a brief history and background for various process improvement methodologies (i.e. Theory of Constraints, Lean, and Six Sigma) that support Value Stream Mapping (VSM) and the benefits that can be derived from utilizing VSM. The workshop will then go on to describe the principals and practices associated with VSM and how to apply them, using real world examples. Attendees will gain a basic understanding of VSM, how to apply it in their environment, and have the necessary tools to successfully complete a basic VSM event.
 
Mr. Williams has an Engineering degree from the United States Merchant Marine Academy with 40+ years experience working and managing in a wide range of businesses. He has managed numerous groups and large projects for several Fortune 500 companies with a focus on continuous process improvement. In addition to his current activities as president of Effective Focus Insights Mr. Williams is a Senior LEAN consultant with Invistics, manager of Duke Energy's Nuclear Measuring and Test Equipment Program, past Chairman of the NCSLI Utilities Committee, and an A2LA Board member.

An award winning conference speaker, seminar leader, and author of several articles on process improvement, as well a business novel on effectiveness, Finally Focused, a common sense approach to greater effectiveness, Dean's passion is helping individuals and organizations achieve greater and lasting effectiveness.
  • Time: 3:15pm - 4:45pm
  • Location: Lake Thoreau
  • Admission: General
  • Presenter: John Mancuso, Owner/Founder of Authentic Communication Matters
Some social scientists have determined that we get bombarded with more information in one day than our Eighteenth-Century counterparts did in their whole lives. What a staggering fact. Out of all the ways we consume information, office correspondence, especially e-mail, remains steadfast in its contribution to information overload. Much of it is disorganized, unclear and rambling. What if we received documents that contained just the right amount of information to understand them? And what if we knew immediately upon receiving an e-mail, what action it’s asking us to take? And what if we knew that we would not miss anything important if we didn't read something in its entirely? It may sound too good to be true, but this session will show how these things are possible.
 
John Mancuso, Owner/Founder of Authentic Communication Matters, works with a diverse set of clients in advertising, design, hospitality, medical cannabis and New York City’s most innovative cultural landmark, The High Line. Recently, he served as Director of Curriculum and Professional Development (internal training consultant) for the 47, 000 employees that make up North America’s largest transportation agency, the New York City Transit Authority (MTA). While at the Authority, he customized curricula in such disparate areas as IT, legal, subway operations, security and infrastructure. Additionally, he wrote and executed a three-day leadership series as a succession plan for the exodus of 44% retirement-eligible employees. Before Transit, John was a consultant for Cengage Learning, where he facilitated peer-to-peer professional development and served as keynote speaker at post-secondary institutions and national conferences. He also spent approximately ten years as the Department Chair of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the Art Institute of New York City, where he oversaw the creation of two Associate and Bachelor-level academic programs. John splits his time between Manhattan and Upstate New York.
  • Time: 3:15pm - 4:15pm
  • Location: Lake Fairfax
  • Admission: General
  • Presenters: Arlene Fox and Susan Audino
The revision of ISO/IEC 17025:2005 to ISO/IEC 17025:2017 resulted in the demand for revision of the "AOAC INTERNATIONAL Guidelines for Laboratories Performing Microbiological and Chemical Analyses of Food, Dietary Supplements, and Pharmaceuticals." This need was discussed extensively at the 2018 A2LA Technical Forum. AOAC focused on this revision with input from many assessors and laboratories in 2018. The AOAC Guidelines are in the final stages of approval. Proficiency testing requirements were among the most discussed topics. Some laboratories were concerned about covering every method on their scope of accreditation. Safe Quality Food Institute also added proficiency testing to laboratory training requirements. Approaches to meeting these requirements and controlling costs will be discussed. Cannabis has been an important part of the headlines. AOAC joins A2LA in working to improve the analysis of cannabis. AOAC has developed a program, known as the Cannabis Analytical Science Program (CASP), to assist government laboratories that test cannabis by, among other things, developing standards for analytical methods, establishing a forum for the identification and discussion of analytical issues related to cannabis, and developing best practices for laboratories working with cannabis. CASP will limit its scope to analytical science of cannabis only. The AOAC Board of Directors has approved a policy regarding resources to advance CASP. Arlene Fox will discuss the AOAC policy and Susan Audino will present the analytical progress of the AOAC Cannabis Working Group.
 
Arlene oversees the AOAC Laboratory Proficiency Testing Program and ensures that the operation of the program remains consistent with accreditation requirements and meets the needs of its customers. Her responsibilities include expansion of the proficiency testing program and provision of tools for improving quality in laboratories. Arlene is the AOAC staff liaison to the Technical Division for Laboratory Management (TDLM) and the Analytical Laboratory Accreditation Criteria Committee (ALACC).
Ms Fox came to AOAC with twenty years of experience in chromatographic method development and validation. This experience entailed both food and pharmaceutical analysis. Her previous positions have included Section Director of Research and Development and Director of Bioanalytical Chemistry.
Fox holds a Bachelor of Science degree in physiology from the University of Chicago and has completed graduate biochemical classes.
 
Susan Audino was awarded a NSF chemometric fellowship and obtained her PhD in chemistry with an analytical chemistry major, physical and biochemistry minor areas. She currently owns and operates a consulting firm servicing chemical and biological laboratories, is an A2LA Lead Assessor and Instructor, a Board Member for the Center for Research on Environmental Medicine, a Board Member for Hood College, and serves on several expert review panels and national advisory panels for cannabis consensus standards. Susan also chairs the Cannabis Advisory Panel and Cannabis Working Group with AOAC International, is a member of the Executive Committee of the ASTM Cannabis Division and has consulted to numerous cannabis laboratories, cannabis investors, and state and international regulatory bodies. Susan has been an invited speaker to national and international regulatory conferences and trade shows.
 
  • Time: 3:15pm - 5:15pm
  • Location: Town Center
  • Admission: General
As part of the new partnership with WPT, we are excited to offer a drop-in session for people interested in learning more about WPT e-learning. Participants can drop-in as they have a free moment, get access to e-learning for free, have one-on-one guidance and tutorials to discover solutions for training needs in your organization or for professional development.
 
  • Time: 4:30pm - 5:30pm
  • Location: Regency Ballroom
  • Admission: Members Only
A2LA Executive Leadership will present on the A2LA membership program, accomplishments and current status, figures, statistics and analysis of various activities and factors affecting A2LA as an organization.
 
 
  • Time: 5:00pm - 5:30pm
  • Location: Lake Fairfax
  • Admission: General
  • Presenter: Vandana Sharma
AI, machine learning, and "smart" documents accelerate results and make your processes better. Machine-readable documents (smart) can now streamline typical quality systems in areas such as document development, revisioning and control, as well as CAPA tracking, training, reporting and calibration schedules. Explore what it means to be "digital native" and how an AI-based platform can help you save time, improve workflows, deliver results faster and be "audit ready".
 
Vandana Sharma is an Architect and a LEED Accredited Professional specializing in Green Building Design & Construction. She was a user of building codes and safety standards for almost 20 years. She has been helping SDOs, Conformity assessment bodies achieve digitization. She does this by guiding her customers with consulting,scoping, solution design and discovery sessions.

Vandana has represented InfoBeans at various global events as a key speaker on the subject matter. She addresses the business and technical audiences who want to learn how digitization is transforming business and the underlying technologies that are driving that change.
 
  • Time: 7:00pm - 9:00pm
  • Location: Grand Ballroom A-D
  • Admission: General
Please join A2LA and the forum attendees for dinner and awards. A2LA will recognize the milestones and accomplishments of our staff, assessors, committee members, and our accredited CABs.
 
 
  • Time: 8:00am - 12:30pm
  • Location: Grand Ballroom E-G
  • Admission: Assessors Only
  • Presenters: Trace McInturff and Mary Ann Kmetyk
A forum led by Trace McInturff, Senior Director of Accreditation Services, for A2LA Assessors and A2LA staff to provide training and guidance, discuss matters affecting the assessors, and to address staff issues and concerns. There will also be a 3-hour training on effective interviewing techniques presented by Mary Ann Kmetyk. Boxed lunch will be provided.
 
Mary Ann Kmetyk is the founder of Vibrant Training Group, whose mission is to help individuals achieve their best and equip leaders to bring out the best in those they lead. Mary Ann delivers training to build relationships and demonstrate effective leadership skills in order to achieve outstanding results. Mary Ann has been a featured presenter at past Technical Forums and she conducts training for A2LA staff members and leaders.
 
  • Time: 8:00am - 12:00pm
  • Location: Lake Thoreau
  • Admission: General- Additional Fee
  • Presenter: Josef Martens PhD CSP
Discover your and your team's barriers to creativity, collaboration, change, and cutting-edge outcomes. Find out how to overcome them by increasing presence, collaboration and self-confidence.

Participants in this session will learn:
  • Higher level of comfort with emotion and expressiveness, and the emotional side of decisions and organizational dynamics
  • The ability to help their teams improve communication skills by reducing barriers and increasing acceptance
  • Greater energy of agreement, thereby transforming the way people perceive them
  • Being more present in the moment, listening carefully, and contributing freely (great for workplaces that require adaptability and agility)
  • More skills in promoting creative & adaptive problem solving
  • How to foster better communication
  • Tools to build trust and support in teams
  • Accelerate and improve individual and group decision making
  • More effective communication in crisis
 
Josef Martens helps organizations move their innovation and strategy efforts from good to great. Having completed his PhD in physics at the University of Cambridge, he was awarded several patents, and ushered a spin-off company through an IOP.

Throughout all this, Josef discovered that expertise is vastly overrated, and that other factors matter much more. Josef shares these factors in his keynote and training programs, and he helps individuals and organizations power-up their quest for new solutions: leaders gain impact, influence and innovation.

Over the past two decades, Josef has conducted programs in over 30 countries across six continents for corporate and Government clients, for associations and on the TEDx stage. His speaking skills have earned him the highest international designation of the National Speakers Association, which has been awarded to only about 700 speakers in the world.
 
  • Time: 1:30pm - 5:30pm
  • Location: Lake Audubon
  • Admission: Invitation only
  • Presenter: Susan Audino
This session is for assessors who are currently coded to assess cannabis testing laboratories, as well as assessors who have been invited to perform these types of assessments in the future.
 
Susan Audino was awarded a NSF chemometric fellowship and obtained her PhD in chemistry with an analytical chemistry major, physical and biochemistry minor areas. She currently owns and operates a consulting firm servicing chemical and biological laboratories, is an A2LA Lead Assessor and Instructor, a Board Member for the Center for Research on Environmental Medicine, a Board Member for Hood College, and serves on several expert review panels and national advisory panels for cannabis consensus standards. Susan also chairs the Cannabis Advisory Panel and Cannabis Working Group with AOAC International, is a member of the Executive Committee of the ASTM Cannabis Division and has consulted to numerous cannabis laboratories, cannabis investors, and state and international regulatory bodies. Susan has been an invited speaker to national and international regulatory conferences and trade shows.
 
  • Time: 1:00pm - 5:00pm
  • Location: Lake Thoreau
  • Admission: General - Additional Fee
  • Presenter: Josef Martens PhD CSP
Leading a high-tech organization has a special thrill to it: You’re at the forefront of what is possible. You’re delivering cutting-edge results, and you lead a workforce with extraordinary expertise. However, together with all the positives, there is a flipside. This session gives you cutting-edge strategies to managing the flipside while allowing you to enjoy all the rewards of leading a future-focused organization. Participants in this session will leave with:
  • An understanding of the common myths in innovation and strategies to avoid them
  • Blueprint of major target areas for innovation
  • How to adapt their leadership style for a STEM team
  • Tools to create a culture of creativity, engagement and innovation in their teams
  • An understanding of the impact of being a 'competent jerk' or a 'lovable fool'
  • A roadmap to the human side of STEM leadership and tools to put it into practice
  • How to become a trusted advisor to senior leadership (instead of just being an expert)
  • An action plan to lead innovation efforts to drive results
 
Josef Martens helps organizations move their innovation and strategy efforts from good to great. Having completed his PhD in physics at the University of Cambridge, he was awarded several patents, and ushered a spin-off company through an IOP.

Throughout all this, Josef discovered that expertise is vastly overrated, and that other factors matter much more. Josef shares these factors in his keynote and training programs, and he helps individuals and organizations power-up their quest for new solutions: leaders gain impact, influence and innovation.

Over the past two decades, Josef has conducted programs in over 30 countries across six continents for corporate and Government clients, for associations and on the TEDx stage. His speaking skills have earned him the highest international designation of the National Speakers Association, which has been awarded to only about 700 speakers in the world.
 
The A2LA Tech Forum is an excellent and well-coordinated programme which enhances our knowledge on Laboratory Accreditation requirements. The forum provides platform for networking among relevant partners.
Talatu K. Ethan, Deputy Director Laboratory Services of Standards Organisation of Nigeria