FGL Quality Assurance Policy
"Management and staff are committed to providing analytical services that are scientifically valid, legally defensible and of known precision and accuracy in order to meet or exceed our clients' expectations and definitions of quality."
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Quality Assurance Program Structure
The Quality Assurance Program applies to the services supporting, and generation of, analytical data for all FGL locations. As most environmental client needs are driven by federal, state and county regulations, the plan has been designed to meet the requirements of the following services and programs:
- Analysis of Drinking Water supplies in support of the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA).
- Analysis of waste stream samples in accordance with National Pollution Discharge Elimination System/Clean Water Act (NPDES/CWA) requirements.
- Analysis and characterization of soil, water and waste samples as per the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) for compliance or disposal purposes.
- Analysis and characterization of soil, water and waste samples for site assessment purposes
To the extent possible, samples are reported only if all quality control measures are acceptable. In order to determine the validity of data generated, the quality controls listed above are reviewed for acceptance. If an "essential" quality control measure is found to be out of control, and the data is to be reported, all samples associated with the failed quality control measure are reported with client approval and the appropriate data qualifier(s).
The Quality Assurance Program can only accomplish its objectives if management and personnel are committed to adherence to the program. In order to assess continued compliance and to identify strong and weak points within the plan, the FGL QA department performs annual internal audits. Audits are carried out by the quality assurance director.
External audits are routinely on a bi-annual basis by the California Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Program to maintain laboratory accreditation.
- internal quality control procedures using regulatory requirements or, whenever possible, statistical techniques;
- participation in proficiency testing or other inter-laboratory comparisons. FGL currently participates in the following studies:
- Water Supply (WS), semi-annual
- Water Pollution (WP), semi-annual (includes Discharge Monitoring, Report, DMR,study)
- Soil, semi-annual
- Mixed Analyte Performance Evaluation Program (MAPEP), semi-annual
- DHS CA ELAP, Microbiology Study, semi-annual
FGL has implemented non-conformance procedures to be followed when departures from documented policies, procedures and quality control have occurred. This requires the use of a non-conformance report which may require corrective action.
Management and Laboratory Staff
Laboratory Director's responsibilities include:
- Ensuring compliance by all directors, managers and staff with the Quality Assurance Plan (QAP)
- Ensuring that directors and managers have the necessary resources in which to achieve the above
- Ensuring that FGL personnel are free from any commercial and other undue pressures which might adversely affect the quality of their work
- Nominate replacements in the event of absence by one or more of the managers.
Laboratory/Department Manager responsibilities include:
- Ensuring compliance with methods and procedures as written
- Ensuring that analytical procedures are performed in accordance with the requested methods and Standard Operating Procedures
- Monitoring work privatizations and client contact regarding analyses and data interpretation
- Overseeing preparation of analytical reports and data review
Quality Assurance Director responsibilities include:
- The QAP and its implementation including recommending pertinent additions to the plan
- Monitoring and assessing compliance by the laboratory with the requirements contained in the QAP
- Conducting annual audits and inspections to assess compliance with established methods, policies and procedures
- Maintaining a document control system containing current policies and procedures utilized by the company
- Maintaining various analytical certifications for the laboratory
- Reviewing laboratory results on performance evaluation studies submitted to FGL by clients and regulatory agencies
- Investigating all inquiries relative to data quality issues and follow up on corrective actions, where necessary
- Preparing and issuing reports to management relating to the responsibilities listed above
- Nominating officers in the event that the quality assurance director is away from the laboratory.
Laboratory Staff responsibilities include
- complying with all quality assurance/quality control requirements that pertain to their organizational/technical function
- signing and agreeing to adhere to Fruit Growers Laboratory Data and Integrity Policy
- performing demonstration of capability prior to the analysis of client samples.
- maintaining proficiency by performing a demonstration of capability on the anniversary of the initial proficiency test