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4-2 – Auditing – Field Audits

Field Sampling Audits

Field Sampling Audits

A field sampling audit is an independent, non-biased review of the sampling and monitoring procedures being conducted in comparison to the project requirements. The primary goals of a field audit are to identify non-conforming items that have the potential to negatively affect data quality, institute corrective actions, and promote continuous program improvement. Field auditing is a valuable practice that is often viewed as a critical first step in the data defensibility process because an improperly collected sample will likely result in poor data quality. Likewise, inadequate pre-event planning will usually lead to a less than adequate sampling event. Field auditing is an effective tool used to identify and correct planning, sampling, and documentation deficiencies before they become consequential.

Following a field audit, a debriefing is conducted and a formal report or project memorandum is generated by Environmental Standards. The debriefing typically includes the client and the audited party and is used to document the sampling event, observations, positive feedback, and findings identified during the audit, and recommendations regarding process improvements and corrective actions.

A non-biased review of field procedures conducted during site investigation and sampling programs helps identify quality deficiencies prior to generating environmental data for risk-management decisions. Field auditing of sample collection procedures is effective in implementing real-time corrective action measures, and as such, is an integral step in ensuring quality data in a project life cycle. Our auditors have experience in identifying data collection, sample procurement, record-keeping, and health & safety issues before they become problematic. Audit results can be used to evaluate contractor performance, to document compliance with regulatory requirements, and as “lessons learned.”