Virtual training on sampling

A 1-day virtual training on sampling was held on 31 March 2021 for the staff and technical assessors of the national accreditation bodies (NABs) of the SEE region.

The issue was first discussed in an exchange of experience workshop in December 2020 when the SEE NABs expressed their need for further guidance on specific aspects related to sampling such as measurement uncertainty arising from sampling, the specificities of sampling and the accreditation of CABs for sampling.

The training was provided by Ioannis Sitaras from ESYD and moderated by Rózsa Ring. It was attended by 41 participants from from 4 SEE countries (Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kosovo and North Macedonia).

The morning session was dedicated to presentations by Ioannis Sitaras when he focused on the requirements of ISO/IEC 17025:2017 related to sampling, sampling as a standalone activity and the related resolution of the European cooperation for Accreditation (EA),  emphasis on who is performing sampling and the tri-parties arrangement (customer, sampling body and laboratory), sampling methods and their validation, the requirements for inspection bodies and product certification bodies when conducting sampling. The ILAC draft position paper on measurement uncertainty arising from sampling elaborated by the Accreditation Issues Committee (AIC) and being still in discussion at ILAC was also presented and the critical parts of the EURACHEM/CITAC Guide on Measurement uncertainty arising from sampling were highlighted.

The afternoon session was dedicated to group exercise when the participants split into 3 groups analyzed separate case studies (water testing laboratory, stack emission laboratory and sampling organization) and responded to questions related to specific aspects of sampling (e.g. validation of sampling method, estimation and reporting uncertainty arising from sampling, quality assurance for quality assurance and verification of sampling, criteria for selecting subcontractors for testing) and accreditation for sampling (e.g. scope of accreditation for sampling in the attached scope of accreditation, issues the AB’s assessors need to pay attention during the contract review, how to assess the competence for sampling during the accreditation cycle, the use of EA-4/18 classification of disciplines for the attached scope). The responses of the 3 groups were discussed by all participants and evaluated by the trainer. The group exercise was well accepted by the participants and showed a good result.

The feedback of the participants was positive, they found the virtual training very interesting and the group exercise useful.

Water sampling at the waterside