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Information and Quality Management

Certified Reference MaterialsWhat we do
Who we are
Current activities
Certified Reference Materials
Proficiency Testing Programs
Contact information

What we do:

The Information and Quality Management group contributes to the delivery of Environment Canada’s science-based programs through quality management support and advice including:  1) production and delivery of a significant portion of CALA proficiency testing samples required to implement the accreditation program; 2) design and implementation of the long-standing Environment Canada Inter-laboratory Quality Assurance Studies; 3) a number of collaborations in special PT studies such as the Metals in the Environment Research Network (MITE-RN) Program; and 4) production and sale of natural matrix Certified Reference Materials (CRMs) to laboratories in Canada and around the world.

The Information and Quality Management group is accredited as a Proficiency Testing Provider by the American Association for Laboratory Accreditation and meets the ILAC G-13:2007 Guidelines for the Requirements for the Competence of Providers of Proficiency Testing (comprising ISO Guide 43-1:1997, as well as relevant elements of ISO/IEC 17025:2005 applicable to characterization, homogeneity and stability testing of proficiency testing materials), and the management system requirements of ISO/IEC 17025:2005, which includes the principles of ISO 9000:2005.

View the Certificate of Accreditation and the Scope of Accreditation.

Who we are:

Haig Agemian, Chief, Information and Quality Management
Keijo Aspila, Quality Assurance Specialist
Harold Malle, Quality Assurance Chemist
Jayne Simser, Quality Assurance Chemist

Current Activities

  • Produce natural matrix Certified Reference Materials for distribution to analytical laboratories, nationally and internationally, on a cost-recovery basis and develop new materials with different matrices containing different co-extractives, levels of interferents, and classes and levels of pollutants of interest.
  • Collaborate with CALA to provide technical advice regarding development of proficiency testing samples and to strengthen the environmental laboratory industry.
  • Produce proficiency testing samples for independent performance evaluation and comparison of analytical procedures used by participating laboratories and for use in development of new methods and in technology transfer.
  • Design and deliver quality assurance programs to support research and monitoring activities to identify sources of measurement uncertainty and variation among analytical results generated by contributing laboratories.
  • Design and deliver Inter-laboratory Quality Assurance studies for third-party assessment of laboratory performance and data reliability of participants representing federal, provincial, university and private environmental analytical laboratories.

Certified Reference Materials

Our inventory of Certified Reference Materials (CRMs) encompasses natural waters, including drinking and rain waters, fortified trace element standards and naturally contaminated sediments. All CRMs are prepared using the ISO 30 series Guides. The CRMs are stable, homogenous and well-characterized matrix reference materials and are representative of environmental conditions. Certified values are determined by repetitive analysis using different methodologies in one or more accredited analytical laboratories. CRMs are an essential quality assurance tool for assessing the accuracy and reliability of laboratory measurement processes, which are useful in applications such as multi-agency data comparability studies; evaluation of newly developed methodologies; inter- and intra-laboratory quality control; analytical contract selection; environmental research; environmental monitoring and surveillance. A catalogue containing the CRM descriptions is available online.

Proficiency Testing Programs

IQM delivers a number of proficiency testing programs for third-party assessment of the performance of participating laboratories. These provide guidance on the quality of laboratory data needed to address particular user needs, and encourage laboratory participants to improve the measurement processes in their laboratories.

For further information, please contact:

Haig Agemian
Chief, Information and Quality Management
Emergencies and Operational Analytical Laboratories and Research Support
Water Science and Technology Directorate
Environment Canada
867 Lakeshore Rd., P. O. Box 5050
Burlington , Ontario, Canada, L7R 4A6
Tel:   905-336-4679
Fax: 905-336-6404