Tier III groups must demonstrate that they meet the sampling and analytical requirements of the CBP Methods and QA, which must be documented in a separate QAPP. To do this, the group’s documentation must undergo an audit to be considered for Tier 3 status.
Grab samples for nutrients and chlorophyll are not eligible for Tier 3 status as of November 2018.
The CMC facilitates the process by which a group is audited by the Chesapeake Bay Program’s Data Integrity Workgroup.
The auditing process includes review of the group’s QAPP, field monitoring audit, audit report, and follow up.
A group’s data is considered Tier 3 after the entire process is complete and the Quality Assurance Manager at the Bay Program has signed the completed QAPP.