Quality Assurance Program in Kentucky
"Quality assurance" refers to a system of activities that ensure an organization's processes achieve goals and objectives. It involves setting policy, procedures and control measures that address an organization's operations.
A quality system is required for data and technology planning and review processes. Following quality guidance can provide the means for meeting specific goals and objectives.
Certain agreements with agencies that provide funding for Division of Water (DOW) programs (like the Environmental Protection Agency [EPA]) require specific documentation on quality systems. These requirements are specified in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), under the following titles:
48 CFR 46 40 CFR 31 40 CFR 35
Contained within the CFR regulations are statements on developing and maintaining quality documents -- the quality management plan (QMP) and quality assurance project plans (QAPP). Agencies are required to prepare these documents based on program objectives and operational activities. The QMP for the Department for Environmental Protection is available here - Quality Management Plan.
EPA also has extensive guidance on how to prepare all quality systems documentation. Access the link to EPA's quality program here.
DOW has also developed templates available for QAPPs and Standard Operating Procedures (SOP). Download these templates from the bottom of this page, or contact the quality assurance staff using the information at the bottom of this page.
Division of Water
The DOW participates in a departmental quality management system that includes representatives from the Air Quality and Waste Management divisions and the Environmental Services Laboratory. This team of quality professionals discusses and assists in setting quality policies and guidelines for departmental activities and operations.
Environmental data collection has been the focus of most quality planning operations. A current list of SOPs related to monitoring and sampling surface water can be found at this link. As additional documents are developed, they will also be made available.
Quality Certifications and Approvals
The DOW administers several programs that review and approve analytical laboratory operations for monitoring programs.
The Compliance and Technical Assistance Branch administers the lab certification program for drinking water. More information on this program can be accessed here .
The Surface Water Permits Branch administers the whole effluent testing (WET) program, which approves laboratories for testing aquatic toxicity relating to Kentucky discharge permits. Additional details on this program are found on the WET Web pages.
Training is integral to developing and maintaining a quality system, and to ensuring a well-informed and competent work force. Training sessions presented by the EPA are linked below.
EPA Quality Assurance Project Plan Presentation
EPA Standard Operating Procedures Presentation
EPA Quality Management Plan Presentation
DOW can also provide training opportunities for employees and cooperating agencies. Contact the quality systems staff to find out what courses may be available.