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Quality Assurance (QA)
Quality assurance is defined in numerous ways, but has the ultimate goal of preventing the creation of defective data.  It is the most effective means of ensuring the ultimate quality of your data products and the research that depends upon that data. QA refers to utilizing written criteria, methods and processes that will ensure the production of data that meet a specified quality standard (USGS.GOV).

Quality Control (QC)
Quality control of data refers to the application of strict methods and/or procedures that determine whether data meet a laboratory’s quality goals. In order to determine whether data meet the outlined quality goals, a set of quality goals and specific data evaluation criteria are put into place (USGS.GOV).

Rutgers Nutrient Laboratory QA/QC
The Nutrient Lab typically follows USEPA (& Standard Methods) QA/QC recommendations pertaining to water quality analysis (USEPA QC/QC). Internal checks which are used (& recommended) include:  Calibration Standards & Blanks, Quality Control Check Standards, Field Blanks, Laboratory Blanks, Duplicate Field Samples, Duplicate Lab Samples, Spike Samples, Known Samples, & Unknown Samples.

Some Rutgers Nutrient Lab QA/QC Test Results:


2018 NERRS Inter-lab Comparison Results

2011 ERA Evaluation Report