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2.13 Quality management plan

Throughout the site remediation process, it is necessary to have confidence that the procedures, as example used to collect samples and to determine contaminant levels, are fit for purpose or how to perform correctly the excavation in an area [CIRIA-2009]. This is achieved by adherence method statements which form part of the quality management system set out in the quality management plan.

Method statements describe the procedures for carrying out the principal activities (such as drilling boreholes, collecting samples, managing wastes and decommissioning boreholes, etc.). Procedures described in method statements should be in accordance with project contractual requirements and technical objectives, and should take account of health and safety issues and the need to minimise environmental impacts. These documents will need to be supplied for approval prior to commencement of any works.

Organisations commissioning site characterisation work should preferably hold a company accreditation to EN ISO9001 for quality management systems. As a result, both the client and organisations providing services have responsibilities in ensuring the quality of site investigation work. Some issues to be considered in this area are:

  • Qualifications and experience of personnel carrying out the work;
  • Qualifications, accreditation and experience of subcontractors;
  • Chain of custody procedures;
  • Quality assurance/Quality control for sampling and analyses;
  • Accurate record keeping and data storage; and
  • Review and audit of all works carried out at all stages of the investigation, including reporting and interpretation.

It is essential that quality procedures are applied at all stages of the remediation project. The procedures used should be capable of ensuring the reliability and robustness of the remediation work carried out and the data produced.

General guidance on quality management can be found in the British Standards Institution publications, with information specific to contaminated land in [EPA-2002], [CIRIA-1995], [DETR], [BSI-2001a].

The quality management plan will and should be prepared and approved before works commence.