New association for UK lab managers

TRADE association for the instrumentation sector in the UK, Gambica, is in the process of launching a spin-off association for laboratory managers.

The British Laboratory Managers Association, BLMA, is likely to have its first meeting in the spring of 2013, according to Gambica’s director of lab technology Tim Collins. Plans to launch the new body have been discussed internally for some time, and were made public last week at the Lab Innovations exhibition in Birmingham.

“Laboratory managers face many challenges” said Collins, “but many have little training in management skills. BLMA will provide opportunities to meet other laboratory managers, exchange ideas, and improve management skills”.

The current status of BLMA is described as being in ‘soft launch’, with a first management committee meeting scheduled for late November 2012. This will set out the scope of the association and draw up plans for a first general meeting, likely to be in May or June 2013.

Topics of interest to BLMA are likely to include laboratory management, environmental issues, regulations such as Reach (registration, evaluation, authorisation and restriction of chemicals), Weee (waste electrical and electronic equipment directive) waste management, human resources, health and safety, electronic note books, and tendering and purchasing.

Gambica was formed in 1981 from several earlier trade associations covering scientific and industrial instrumentation and related fields, leading to its rather clumsy name – once an acronym of ‘Group of Associations of Manufacturers of British Instrumentation Control and Automation’, but now simply a name.

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