Our quality system

Keeping our standards high

Quality & Accreditation

We are proud of our reputation for providing a high quality service. This reputation that has been built over decades. It arises from the expertise of our staff, the robustness of our systems, and our strength of commitment to providing customers with the very highest quality of analysis and customer service.

What is accreditation?

Accreditation is a formal, third party recognition of competence. For laboratories worldwide, this means compliance to the international standard - ISO 17025.

Accreditation not certification

ISO 17025 contains specific technical requirements for the personnel employed and for the operations carried out. We are directly assessed by the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) to confirm demonstration of:

  • Competence
  • Impartiality
  • Performance capability

    We also hold higher-level accreditation to both the DWI’s Drinking Water Testing Specification (DWTS) and the Environment Agency’s MCERTS schemes, which have additional technical requirements.
    We currently have around 150 accredited analytical methods and over 1,000 accredited tests.
    We continually review and update our systems through continuous improvement and by extensively benchmarking our activities.

    Our Accreditation Team

    We have an internal team of five independent auditors whose sole remit is to monitor our compliance with accreditation standards. This team conduct over 300 audits per year, covering all aspects of the ISO 17025 quality system.

    Proficiency Testing

    Proficiency testing schemes are inter-laboratory comparison programs that allows us to monitor and improve the quality of our measurements. They provide an objective assessment of the reliability of data that we produce. We invest over 60 K each year to participate in numerous external schemes, including:

  • LGC Aquacheck (water and effluent chemistry)
  • Leap (water and effluent chemistry, water microbiology, cryptosporidium)
  • RTC (water chemistry)
  • HPA (microbiology, cryptosporidium)
  • WASP (air emissions analysis)
  • STACKS (air emissions analysis)
  • Dioxin 16th Intercal
  • LGC Crypts (cryptosporidium)
  • Charles River (cryptosporidium)