In Chapter 14 we discussed the process of developing a standard method, including optimizing the experimental procedure, verifying that the method produces acceptable precision and accuracy in the hands of a signal analyst, and validating the method for general use by the broader analytical community. Knowing that a method meets suitable standards is important if we are to have confidence in our results. Even so, using a standard method does not guarantee that the result of an analysis is acceptable. In this chapter we introduce the quality assurance procedures used in industry and government labs for the real-time monitoring of routine chemical analyses.
- 15.1: The Analytical Perspective Revisited
- As we noted in Chapter 1, each area of chemistry brings a unique perspective to the broader discipline of chemistry. For analytical chemistry this perspective is as an approach to solving problems.
- 15.2: Quality Control
- Quality control encompasses all activities that bring an analysis into statistical control. The most important facet of quality control is a set of written directives that describe relevant laboratory-specific, technique-specific, sample-specific, method-specific, and protocol-specific operations.
- 15.3: Quality Assessment
- The written directives of a quality control program are a necessary, but not a sufficient condition for obtaining and maintaining a state of statistical control. Although quality control directives explain how to conduct an analysis, they do not indicate whether the system is under statistical control. This is the role of quality assessment, the second component of a quality assurance program.
- 15.4: Evaluating Quality Assurance Data
- Now we turn our attention to how we incorporate this quality assessment data into a complete quality assurance program. There are two general approaches to developing a quality assurance program: a prescriptive approach, in which we prescribe an exact method of quality assessment, and a performance-based approach in which we can use any form of quality assessment, provided that we can demonstrate an acceptable level of statistical control.
- 15.5: Problems
- End-of-chapter problems to test your understanding of topics in this chapter.
- 15.6: Additional Resources
- A compendium of resources to accompany topics in this chapter.
- 15.7: Chapter Summary and Key Terms
- Summary of chapter's main topics and a list of key terms introduced in the chapter.
Thumbnail: Examples of property control charts that show a sequence of results.