Sample Acceptance Criteria

What are Acceptance Criteria?

ANRA Laboratory Sample Acceptance Criteria indicates the minimum conditions a sample must meet when received at the laboratory. Sample collection personnel are to use water resistant ink, use appropriate sample containers, adhere to holding times, and sample volume requirements. Deviations from the Sample Acceptance Criteria will be noted on the Chain of Custody (CoC) Form and the final report.

What Criteria are checked?

The laboratory checks samples for the following qualities for chemical and bacteriological samples, where
appropriate, to evaluate sample acceptance:

  1. Thermal Preservation - The sample temperature must be <6°C. Samples delivered to the lab the same day they are collected are not likely to have reached a fully chilled temperature. Samples shall be considered acceptable if there is evidence the chilling process has begun. The temperature for each sample will be recorded on the CoC.
  2. pH Check - The pH of samples requiring acid/base preservation is checked upon sample receipt and documented on the CoC, along with any preservation performed by the laboratory.
  3. Chlorine Check - Drinking water bacteriology samples must be submitted to the laboratory in approved sample containers. Containers are available upon request. The client is reponsibile for recording the Chlorine Residual on the Water Bacteriology Report.
  4. Sample Integrity - All samples are checked for sample integrity with the following criteria:
    1. Approved container based on the type of analysis requested.
    2. Cracks, leaks, possible contamination and/or any factors that could affect the integrity of the sample.
    3. Adequate sample volume and air space.
    4. Hold times for requested analysis must not be exceeded.
  5. Chain of Custody (CoC) - Information on the CoC must be properly and fully completed. Sample collectors are urged not to utilize photocopies of CoCs.

What if the Criteria are not met?

If the checks performed upon sample receipt indicate the criteria are not met, then:

  1. The sample custodian will place a call to the client for instruction.
  2. The decision to proceed is documented and agreed upon with the client. In the event the client cannot be contacted immediately, the sample(s) is logged in and documented accordingly. Subsequent client contact to address the conditions is documented and the sample processed accordingly.
  3. Any deviations from the sample acceptance criteria are documented. Absence of any qualifier on the CoC and the final report indicates that all sample criteria has been met.

Effective Date: 06/01/2009