Performance Standard for Organisations Undertaking Radioanalytical Testing of Environmental and Waste Waters Record of amendement

Environment Agency
2015 unpublished
Foreword We set up our Monitoring Certification Scheme (MCERTS) to deliver quality environmental measurements. The scheme is based on international standards and provides for the product certification of instruments, the competency certification of personnel and the accreditation of laboratories. The standard we focus on in this document sets out what you must do if you carry out the radioanalytical testing of environmental and waste waters directly under contract to the Environment Agency and
more » ... ave been required by us to submit results that comply with this MCERTS standard. This may include surface and ground waters, trade effluent, leachate, saline and other waters. Over time this standard may be extended to cover other areas of radioanalytical testing, such as soil and biota. We require laboratories carrying out this work to be accredited by a National Accreditation Body that is a signatory to the European & International Multilateral Recognition Agreements-the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) fulfils this requirement in the UK, to the international standard, ISO/IEC 17025 for this MCERTS performance standard. The MCERTS standard provides an application of ISO/IEC 17025 specifically for the radioanalytical testing of environmental and waste waters:  performance targets  the selection and validation of test methods  pre-treatment and preparation of samples  ongoing quality control  participation in proficiency testing schemes  how test results and other information are reported. Some of the requirements of this performance standard are described in general terms. This is to allow some flexibility and to allow the laboratory to take advantage of technological developments. In this way, a laboratory is not excluded simply because, for example, it lacks specific equipment. However, along with this flexibility we need to ensure that all of the information we require is provided to us. This is particularly important where we assess test data for a specific site over a number of years, so that consistent and meaningful comparisons can be made. Where we assess data for regulatory purposes, all relevant information must be recorded and be available to us, if requested. The benefits of this MCERTS standard  MCERTS provides formal accreditation in accordance with European and international standards.  The standard makes sure that you, the public and other laboratories involved in the analysis of environmental and waste waters for radioactive substances can be confident that the information you provide is reliable.  The standard underpins the critical importance of radioanalytical testing of environmental and waste waters in producing reliable information for regulatory purposes, and ensures participating laboratories will be working towards the same standard.  By setting quality standards that are a prerequisite of radiochemical analysis of environmental and waste waters the standard promotes best measurement practice in this area, thus raising the quality of work carried out by laboratories active in this sector and underlining the professionalism of staff involved in such work. If you have any questions regarding the accreditation process, or would like further information on how to apply, please contact: United Kingdom Accreditation Service