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National Measurement Institute
      

Quality Management of Environmental Analyses

Reliable data are essential in the environmental industry. NMI’s Quality Policy describes our commitment to the use of quality management systems to produce reliable data.

Each of our laboratories has a comprehensive quality management system to ensure that our levels of service meet or exceed international benchmarks for good laboratory practice. Elements of our quality system include:

  • NATA accreditation to ISO/IEC 17025:
  • BSI certification to ISO 9001
  • use of certified reference materials, reference materials and in-house standards
  • use of quality controls in process batches, blanks, spikes, surrogates, duplicates and check samples (see below)
  • regular instrument calibration and maintenance
  • validated methodology based on recognised standards: Standards Australia, American Public Health Association and US Environmental Protection Agency
  • regular participation in proficiency testing programs

Batch Quality Control

Analysis Blank

1 every 20 samples (or part thereof) and result reported with each client sample

Laboratory Control Sample

1 every 20 samples (or part thereof) and result reported with each client sample

Duplicates

1 every 10 samples (and at least one per process batch) and result reported to the client if it is performed on that client’s sample

Matrix Spikes

1 every 20 samples (and at least one per process batch)If a process batch contains different sample types (e.g. soil and water) each sample type requires its own matrix spike which is reported to the client if it is performed on that client’s sample

Quality Control Reports

Our quality control reports contain all the information necessary to make an informed decision. In the case of matrix-related issues quality control may be reported with an appropriate comment such as:

  • limits of reporting were raised due to matrix interferences
  • surrogate recoveries could not be determined due to the dilution required to quantitate the analyte
  • insufficient sample supplied to conduct a quality control analysis
  • spike recovery cannot be determined due to the high analyte concentration
  • surrogate recovery is outside acceptance limits due to matrix interference
  • spike recovery is outside recommended acceptance criteria; an acceptable recovery was obtained for the laboratory control sample indicating sample matrix interference
  • duplicate relative percent difference is outside the recommended acceptance criteria; further re-analysis indicates the cause is sample inhomogeneity

For further information please contact customerservice@measurement.gov.au, 1300 722 845 or use our on-line form.