The issues of concern brought to ELAB by the stakeholders they represent and even the general public or private sectors typically fall into one of three areas: monitoring, measurement and technology, or laboratory management. These are consistent with ELAB's Charter, which are the only issues that ELAB can provide advice, information, and recommendations to the Agency regarding. To make managing the number of issues brought to the Board more manageable, workgroups are utilized to research, study, evaluate, and assess matters under discussion to distribute the workload of information gathering for the entire Board's consideration of the topic. While workgroups are at times formed around one of these three primary topical areas due to the expertise among the Board members, the Board carefully forms teams on an issue-by-issue basis to ensure the best mix and distribution of workload across the full membership.
Examples of topics being considered by the Board grouped by each area appear below.
Training and/or accreditation of laboratory employees and assessors;
Consistency in operating practice and deliverables amongst accreditors and assessors;
Improvements of the audit practice relevant to laboratories;
Standardization of accreditation and proficiency testing analytes between accreditors;
Formation and implementation of a proficiency testing oversight body/ proficiency testing provider accreditor;
Role of laboratory management in monitoring laboratory fulfillment of the national accreditation standards; and
Achieve a single national environmental laboratory accreditation program.
Measurement and Technology:
The performance approach;
Adequacy and applicability of existing methodologies;
Development of areas for method development;
Peer review of new or proposed changes to methods;
Management of volunteer laboratories for method validation/verification;
Proper and appropriate use and application of detection and quantification models (e.g., MDL, PQL) at all levels of government;
Review of relevance and adequacy of holding times in environmental analyses;
Adequacy of response to Homeland Security requirements;
Indices of acceptable environmental measurement methodology's; and
Establish a quality management plan potentially applicable to all programs.
The Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) policies affecting laboratory operations, procurement reform, business, and laboratory ethics;
Appropriate concerns regarding national environmental accreditation participation, such as by States and/or laboratories;
Small laboratory representation;
Development of means of outreach to improve laboratory and State/federal Agency participation;
Participate in means to insure self-sufficiency for national laboratory accreditation;
Analyst certification as a tool in accreditation process;
Storage and disposition of hazardous materials/ wastes in laboratory operations specifically as it relates to Homeland Security, training needs for all personnel;
Assessor consistency for national laboratory accreditation;
Industry capacity and capabilities; and
Evaluate of management systems.
Work Area Minutes:
Attached below are the most recent minutes of the workgroup with older files available in the Archives. The files within this section are in no way considered approved or final products of the Board.