The data produced by Gas Chromatograph (GC) laboratories is used for many purposes, including product specification, accounting, safety and environmental compliance issues. The accuracy of this data has direct impact on all of these areas. Auditing laboratories responsible for producing this data is prudent business practice. The audit will provide a means of process improvement, through proper identification of deficiencies and a precise plan for corrective action. The level of confidence in analytical results will increase when the appropriate corrective actions are implemented. The amount of financial and legal exposure can be reduced from a properly executed audit program.
When Should We Audit?
Audits should be performed on a scheduled frequency, typically once a year for laboratories, and quarterly or semi-annually for online analyzers. If a discrepancy arises, or there is concern about the accuracy of analytical data, an audit should be performed. If there has been a change in personnel or equipment an audit may be warranted. After corrective action has been taken, an audit may be performed to determine the level of improvement.