Inustry - Oil Refinery, Petrochemical plant

3 Investments That Lead to Better Stack Testing QA / QC

December 6, 2021

By: Tatum Strickler

Many companies claim to have a team of experienced professionals operating in compliance with quality system standards for stack testing. However, it’s essential to be prepared with the right questions and background knowledge to assess these claims properly.

Regulatory agencies and accrediting bodies recommend that you should ask for evidence to prove that the testing company is operating in conformance with their quality system and accreditation.

Not sure which questions to ask? Well, you’re in luck because we’ve broken it all down for you below.

Here are a few questions to ask when assessing environmental testing options:

1. “Do you have Quality Assurance (QA) and Quality Control (QC) processes in place?”

To better ensure that an Air Emissions Testing Body (AETB) is operating to conform with approved test methods and documented quality standards, the U.S. EPA recommends that a source (customer/client) request that the AETB produce the following documentation:

  • A Quality Manual that outlines all policies and procedures necessary to provide data of known and documented quality as well as accurate data to support customer needs
  • Quality system audit results from internal and external assessments for the prior 12 months
  • Performance data including Proficiency Testing (PT) results and examples of corrective actions for the prior 12 months
  • Training records and/or ASTM D7036 Qualified Individual (QI) certificates for on-site personnel

2. “How do you invest in your field test technicians?”

Investing in career development for our teams enables MAQS to produce consistent data of known and documented quality. This includes:

  • A technician training program that includes classroom and hands-on training modules geared toward producing well-rounded technicians who understand the science behind the procedures they perform.
  • Project Manager training focuses on customer needs, effective interaction with regulatory agencies, and problem-solving skills.
  • Data Integrity and Ethics training to ensure our organization carries out all activities free from commercial, financial, and other pressures that might influence their technical judgment.
  • Over 180 Qualified Individuals (as defined by ASTM D7036) on staff covering a scope of over 200 test methods.

3. “What investments do you prioritize for your teams and formal processes to lead to better QA / QC?”

Our formal processes drive accountability and consistency, resulting in better QA / QC. This includes:

  • An effective corrective action system helps catch minor breakdowns before they lead to severe issues.
  • Our processes help identify weaknesses and allow for policy and system changes that increase the likelihood of issues not being repeated
  • Allows resources (employee time, employee energy, and company money) to be put towards looking forward, creative and innovative thinking and action
  • Promotes a philosophy of continuous improvement

Remember these key points and questions to ensure you’re getting the best possible service, accurate data, and the newest technology possible for stack testing. We provide our clients with precise measurement data, and we stand behind each of the products and services we offer because of our investments in our people and processes.

Tatum Strickler
Vice President of Quality Systems
Tate Strickler, is a certified quality assessment professional with over 20 years of experience in the source testing industry, specializing in practical solutions to quality management challenges. Tate is responsible for managing quality systems that encompass a variety of state, regional, and national accreditation programs and serves as a member of the Board of Directors for the Stack Testing Accreditation Council (STAC), and member of the Accreditation Council for the American Association for Laboratory Accreditation (A2LA).

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