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The purpose of this paper is to discuss a public utility's approach to obtaining satisfactory and reliable evaluation, verification, and accreditation of its laboratory testing. These activities include fuel testing, chemical testing, identification and analysis of biological samples, testing of electrical equipment, and the like. An essential need is to demonstrate credible results and test procedures that will be accepted by regulatory agencies, fuel vendors, and the courts if necessary.
This paper will present the pros and cons of several evaluation techniques. These include a company-wide quality assurance program, sample verification by expert consultants and third party laboratories, split sample analyses with vendor laboratories and sister utilities, and sample splits with government laboratories.
The licensing or certification of individuals, laboratories, and equipment is important in the context of this discussion. Although individuals and equipment can be tested and certified, it is difficult to certify technique in the daily laboratory routine. This paper will also review the concept of a national standardized accreditation program versus accreditation by professional societies and organizations closely allied to certain disciplines.
accreditation, evaluation, quality control, quality assurance
Power Supply Laboratories Manager, Georgia Power Co., Atlanta, Ga.