Quality assurance and control documentation for an air monitoring program usually starts with a QAPP – a Quality Assurance Project Plan, which integrates all technical and quality aspects of a project. Integral to the QAPP are Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), which direct activities to properly comply with the QAPP. As most air monitoring programs require these documents, Air Resource Specialists has written dozens of QAPPs and SOPs over the years for its clients and for internal operations.
A QAPP contains four major elements:
- Project Management – This includes a summary of the work to be performed, information related to project tasks and organization (defining roles, responsibilities, training, and the chain of command of all key players), a discussion of the specific goals and data quality objectives of the project, the history of the network and its objectives, and how the work is documented.
- Data Generation and Acquisition – This includes all aspects of data generation, sampling methodology, acquisition, and analysis to ensure that the network design and rationale are adequate to meet the network objectives and a discussion of the relevant testing, inspection, maintenance, calibration, and quality control activities and how they are performed and documented.
- Assessment and Oversight – This describes assessments (audits, data quality assessments, annual data certification) to be used to ensure air monitoring activities are conducted as prescribed, how the results of these assessments are documented, and how responses to findings will be addressed.
- Data Validation and Usability – This describes if/how the data collected conform to the specified criteria, if it can be used with confidence for its intended purpose, and how the results are conveyed to data users.