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 Chapter 10

 

Quality Improvement

All of the policies and procedures described in this manual were developed to document QA planning and implementation. Two levels of quality improvement processes combine to evaluate the effectiveness of the NRMRL quality system and ensure continual quality improvement. At the QA Program level, QSAs discussed in Section 9.4 are performed by the Quality Staff located in the Office of Environmental Information (OEI) and may also be conducted by the NRMRL DQA. Any problems or areas where quality improvement can be made are identified and reported to the NRMRL Laboratory Director. The NRMRL DQA is responsible for implementing the necessary corrective action. At the Project QA level, the document reviews and audits discussed in Section 9.5 are conducted to evaluate proposed procedures and their implementation. Any problems or areas where quality improvement can be made are identified and reported to the EPA Technical Lead Person, who is responsible for implementing the necessary corrective action. In addition, all project personnel are responsible for quality improvement activities with respect to their particular roles.

Finally, it is the responsibility of the designated QA Manager in each NRMRL Division to monitor the quality procedures that are implemented on a day-to-day basis. This is done via audits, discussions with researchers, and involvement in the implementation of the quality system.

In the monthly QA Team teleconferences, significant problems identified by the DQA or QAMs in the implementation of the NRMRL quality system are discussed, including appropriate resolutions. In addition, any suggestions for improving quality system processes are presented for discussion during these teleconferences.

If possible, the cause of any identified problem will be determined before corrective action is determined. The corrective action shall be planned, documented, agreed upon, and implemented to minimize the effect on program/project quality.

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