Our Quality Assurance Program
At SGS, we continually build quality into the product delivered to clients as a design specification. This is accomplished by incorporating the elements of our Quality System into every laboratory process as an intrinsic component of day-to-day operations. This approach reflects our dedication to a quality system that meets national and international standards. This is achieved through a Corporate Quality Assurance Program that establishes the framework for the quality systems operated and maintained at each SGS facility. This Program reflects knowledge of the regulatory analytical process and the role our product plays in safeguarding human health and the environment.
Quality Assurance Policy Statement
The management and staff of SGS share the responsibility for product quality. The Quality System is designed to ensure that all processes and procedures, which are components of environmental data production, meet established industry requirements. These processes and procedures must be adequately documented from a procedural and data traceability perspective as executed by the staff. It also assures that analytical data of known quality, meeting the quality objectives of the analytical method in use and the data user’s requirements, are consistently produced in the laboratory. This enables the ultimate data user to make rational, confident, cost-effective decisions on the assessment and resolution of environmental issues.
The Quality System provides staff with data quality and operational feedback data. This enables a determination whether the laboratory has achieved the established quality and operational standards, which are dictated by the client or established in regulation. The information obtained from the Quality System is used to assess operational performance from a quality perspective and to perform corrective action as necessary.
The Quality Assurance Standard
SGS operates a quality program which meets the requirements for laboratory operations established by the international community. SGS has implemented a Quality System that follows ISO Guide 17025, General Requirements for the Competence of Calibration and Testing Laboratories. The structure of ISO Guide 17025 has been adopted by the National Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Program (NELAP), the voluntary national accreditation program originally established by the USEPA. NELAP has established a uniform national standard for environmental laboratories that places a strong emphasis on quality systems.
The Quality System at SGS has been designed to meet NELAP standards. SGS was among the first laboratories to submit applications to the approved state accrediting authorities for recognition as a NELAP accredited laboratory. All laboratories in the SGS network are NELAP accredited.
Corporate Quality Assurance Program
The Corporate Quality Assurance Program establishes the quality framework for each individual SGS facility. The Corporate Quality Assurance Director determines corporate policies and defines the quality responsibilities at the facility level. He is responsible for monitoring the quality system at each facility and providing feedback to the management staff.
The reporting relationship between Corporate Quality Assurance and the Quality Assurance Officers at each laboratory reflects a dotted line responsibility. This type of relationship enables the Corporate Program to be implemented locally while enhancing day-to-day operational efficiency at each facility.
Quality Assurance at Each Laboratory
The SGS philosophy enables each facility to implement a quality policy using their unique operating style. This approach provides the autonomy needed to meet the requirements of the local regulatory jurisdictions using procedures that efficiently meet their operational objectives.
The Quality Assurance Program at each facility incorporates the elements of ISO Guide 17025 and NELAP. The operations management staff is responsible for implementing the program elements and operating the quality system.
The Quality Assurance Officer monitors the program, provides feedback to local and corporate management, and assists with corrective action and training if needed.