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Socio-economic Studies Project Summary


Capacity assessment, quality assurance program review, and market needs assessment

Environment Canada: Environmental Standards and Reference Materials Consultations

This project included conducting several consultations for Environmental Standards and Reference Materials (ESRM; Environment Canada). The work involved conducting information telephone and in-person interviews to collect data, other information or perspective. These interviews were supported by emailed or faxed questionnaires. Work with ESRM required the design and distribution of four comprehensive questionnaires. Extensive qualitative and quantitative analyses of survey response data were conducted to summarize results and provide recommendations for action (e.g. for future interlaboratory studies, etc.). Deliverables included four reports that detailed:

  1. Laboratory capabilities and program details of laboratories and organizations that contribute analytical data to a federal government program (i.e., Northern Contaminants Program). This report profiled the organizations, their areas of expertise, analytical capabilities, services provided and their involvement in Quality Assurance programs.

  2. Availability and suitability of external national and international Quality Assurance programs pertinent to the Northern Contaminants Program. This report also recommended specific Quality Assurance programs for particular analytical programs and described the need for development of a new Quality Assurance program.

  3. Demand for a proposed organic interlaboratory Quality Assurance program from Environment Canada’s regional and research laboratories, and assessed specific Quality Assurance elements that would need to be addressed by such a program.

  4. Environment Standards and Reference Materials’ customer needs (i.e., the needs of distributors of ESRM’s products such as “Reference Materials” and “Certified Reference Materials”). This involved contacting these customers (world-wide) and asking them what they needed from Environment Canada in order to facilitate sales of ESRM’s products. This report assisted ESRM maximize sales and cost recovery for its products.