Methods and QA Review

Methods and QA Review

The CMC team works with diverse monitoring groups across the region, many of which are already collecting water quality data! For any existing and active monitoring groups, the CMC team will review current methods manuals and quality assurance procedures in order to designate a tier and integrate the group’s data into the Chesapeake Data Explorer. During this review the CMC service provider compares a group’s monitoring protocols against the CMC approved methods using a dichotomous key and provides feedback.

Feedback generally includes items to be added in order for data to be included in the tiered framework or suggestions for data to move up a tier. Data that does not meet the minimum requirements can still be uploaded to the Data Explorer, but is marked as provisional and is not passed on to the Bay Program.

Reviews and Evaluations

These minimum requirements must be met in order for data to be assigned a tier level and entered into the Chesapeake Data Explorer:

  • Written study design (preferred, not required)
  • Written Methods Manual
  • Standard Field Data Sheet
  • Documented site locations with latitude and longitude coordinates
  • Collect at least 12 samples a year with an 80% completion rate (can be monthly, bi-weekly or weekly sampling)

Monitoring programs are evaluated based on the following basic criteria to establish a tier level:

  • Quality assurance procedures
  • Biennial certifications
  • Type of equipment used
  • Equipment inspection, maintenance and calibration procedures
  • Frequency of field and lab duplicates, replicates and blanks

Once the program review is completed and all updates are made to the methods manual or quality assurance project plan, the CMC service provider will conduct a Certified Trainer training with the program coordinator and data entry into the Chesapeake Data Explorer can begin.

Any data collected prior to the review process can be entered into the Data Explorer as historical data and will be marked as provisional, provisional tier 1 or provisional tier 2 depending on the methods used.

PublicationsMethods Review Resources