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Quality

From our roots in the Milk Marketing Board to our current status as a plc with subsidiaries supplying information to farmers, corporations, industry and government bodies our business depends on the trust that our customers and the industries in which we work have on the quality of our information.

We are a full member of ICAR (International Committee of Animal Recording).  This is the body that sets standards procedures and guidelines for the purpose of identifying animals, the registration of their ancestry, recording their performance and their evaluation and publishing the findings. 
In 2008 we became the first UK service provider to be awarded the ICAR Certificate of Quality for Production Recording.  This involved an audit of our recording practices by a qualifiied ICAR auditor ensuring that NMR is complying with up to date requirements and guidelines.  
Both NML laboratories are accredited to ISO 17025:2005 for specific testing. NML Hillington is a UKAS accredited testing laboratory No. 2051 and NML
Wolverhampton is also a UKAS accredited testing laboratory No. 2700. See UKAS website http://www.ukas.com/search-accredited-organisations/, for current schedules of accreditation.

Our software contains business rules that have been robustly tested to ensure that data is accurate before it is allowed to update our database. A simple example would be that animal can’t start milking without us first recording a birth event. A mistake like this could be made by error on the dates entered; our system would not allow it. There are numerous business rules, many of which are more complex than this, that combine to reduce potential errors in data entry. Within the laboratories, the instruments are fully calibrated on a regular basis, with daily start up checks and pilot samples of known quality tested after every herd and within herds if the herd has more than 180 samples. The NMR, NML and IML laboratories regularly conduct ring trials to ensure the standards are equal throughout the NMR Group as well as our labs participating in international ring trials to ensure our testing standards are up to international standards. The final safety net is the training, experience, and quality of our laboratory and data processing staff.

Quality issues are reported to the NMR Board on a regular basis. We have a Group Quality Manager in a senior position reporting to the Managing Director. The role allows executive authority on quality requirements to take precedence over the authority of other managers within the business.
We have groups drawn from staff in various departments of the business who meet regularly to discuss business issues. One such group, the Business Operations Group meets on a monthly basis to iron out procedures required to ensure that our information continues to pass our quality requrement. This group is charied by the Group Operations Manager. The Managing Director is an active member of this group.
ICAR Certificate Presentation to Tony CravenNMR's Tony Craven presented with the ICAR Certificate of Quality in May 2012 by Uffe Lauritsen, President of ICAR  
It may seem strange but NMR's biggest commitment to quality can be represented by three plastic items which cost less than £9 in total. They are a dipper, a bulk sample pot and a plastic sample box. A milk dipper is used by the milk recorder to ensure the sample taken is proportional to the milking interval, a bulk sample is taken as a cross reference to ensure individual cow results are proportional to the bulk sample and a discrepancy check is carried out at every recording. Washed/disinfected sample boxes are used to ensure there is no disease transfer between farms - simple symbols of NMR's Quality Guarantee and our commitment to provide independent, authentic and good quality milk records in a cost effective manner.

NMR has been milk recording since 1947 and we understand the process. We understand the need to maintain a strong field force to ensure we recruit the right recorders and train them properly. We understand the need for bulk samples to be taken at the recording to provide a check sample in order for us to compare the weighted herd average constituent milk values to those in the bulk tank. If there is a difference, we investigate why, taking remedial action when we identify the cause of any discrepancies. We know the importance of using a dipper to create a proportional sample. We maintain our own transport and laboratory functions to guarantee quality.
Data Quality Assured Logo
We believe in a high level of ‘data processing' to ensure anomalies in data are resolved at the time of the recording and develop and support our own dairy management and automated parlour software, and so we know what data can and can't be downloaded to produce an authentic ICAR approved milk record. 
Many people think they understand factoring but often don't fully understand the technical input required to support this service. At NMR we understand what can and can't be done with factored data such as not factoring SCC (Somatic Cell Counts). 

An NMR record is exactly that, a record of the individual cow's performance. At NMR we believe milk records are the building blocks of value, whether by improving herd performance or increasing animal value. Without rigour in the milk recording process, this value is undermined.

If you would like any further information, please contact us.