Strategic Direction 2014 - 2019
The Standing Committee of Analysts (SCA) represents the collective knowledge of the UK in the provision of methodology which is given and shared freely for the purpose of ensuring quality and consistency in the chemical and microbiological analysis of water, waste water and related materials1.
Clear, up to date methodology produced by experts within their fields is key to the provision of robust, repeatable and accurate data. This is ever more important in the face of significant challenges from Regulations and Customers, and the potential threat of legal action. Achieving and maintaining documents of the required standard requires the contribution of the companies and organisations that will benefit from them.
In this document, the Strategic Board of the SCA outline their objectives for 2014-2019, achievement of which will ensure that the highest standards of methodology are available to analysts in the UK, and for use throughout the world.
Marcus Rink, SCA Chair
Strategic Objective 1
Strategic Objective 2
Strategic Objective 3
Strategic Objective 4
Strategic Objective 5
Management of SCA
Structure of SCA
App I: Working Group Responsibilities
App II: SCA Strategic Board Members and responsibilities
The provision of authoritative guidance and recommended methods for the examination of waters and associated materials. (MEWAM)
This strategy document describes the priorities of the SCA over the period 2014 – 2019 to meet this aim. It sets out our five strategic objectives and what we will do to achieve them. The delivery of these strategic objectives and the measurement of our performance will form the core of our activities and business planning processes during this period.
The Standing Committee of Analysts (SCA) exists to provide authoritative guidance on methods of sampling and analysis of waters and effluents, sewage sludge’s, sediments, soils (including contaminated land) and biota. Where appropriate, guidance on the sampling and analysis of air will also be produced. The primary duty of SCA will be to develop and publish recommended analytical methods. This will not include the provision of advice on, or interpretation of results. All methods published by the SCA should be capable of satisfying a regulatory demand, be fit for purpose and represent best practice within the United Kingdom (UK).
However, validation data published with methods represents performance under a particular set of circumstances and is provided for illustrative purposes only. It is incumbent on users of SCA methods to assess performance on their equipment, in their laboratories and, with their own personnel.
The SCA aims to:
Strategic objective 1
Develop and publish methods that are current, robust, usable and globally recognised
Strategic objective 2
Build relationships in order that laboratories and regulators and accreditation bodies alike have confidence in the methods
Strategic objective 3
To be a trusted and professional body
Strategic objective 4
To be recognised experts in Drinking Water and Environmental Analysis is established upon a sound scientific base
Strategic objective 5
To be an industry focus for innovation and R&D
The SCA will deliver these objectives through:
Management of SCA
The SCA is managed by the SCA Strategic Board and has no budget. However, resources are provided through website provision, meeting rooms etc by the Drinking Water Inspectorate (DWI) and Environment Agency. The strategic document is freely and openly published for transparency
Documents will be available in electronic format or as downloads. The SCA is committed to maintaining the very high standard of technical excellence, expressed in a clear and unambiguous manner that facilitates ease of reading and understanding and this is facilitated by the DWI and the Environment Agency. In addition, SCA is committed to ensuring the programmes of work are undertaken by its Working Groups and panels in a manner reflective of the priorities relevant to the users of SCA documents.
The secretariat of SCA will undertake to report to its users on the performance of its Working Groups and panels, and the output of publications. The business of SCA Working Groups and panels will be conducted in an open and accountable manner that facilitates the sharing of knowledge and experience to the mutual benefit of the users of SCA services.
The work and resource of SCA will involve individuals drawn from across UK industry in order to give a spread of expertise and range of people who can contribute to the development of methods and the production of draft documents. The expectation is that those industries that benefit from the documents should nominate and make available suitably experienced members of staff to participate. However, this does not exclude those who have the ability to contribute as Individuals from the UK or overseas, and can participate in committee meetings where their expertise and experience will help deliver the committee’s objectives. There are no financial incentives or returns and all members are self funding.
The Chair of SCA will be recommended by the Strategic Board, but as sponsoring organisations, DWI and Environment Agency will approve the recommendation, to ensure an appropriately qualified person is appointed to the role. The position is reviewed every 3 years, and the incumbent may continue in the role for a further 3 year period at the discretion of the Strategic Board.
Structure of SCA
The structure of SCA is hierarchical, details of the roles responsibilities and current Strategic Board members are shown in the appendices. The Strategic Board is the main committee responsible for the strategic direction and objectives and comprises of a Chair, Secretary, Strategic Board members (who are responsible for the specific Strategic Direction) and members who are the Chair’s or sponsors of Working Groups. The Strategic Board may include constituted members who are independent. The roles and responsibilities of the Chair, Secretary and Strategic Board members are as described in the structure. The Chair and the Secretary are nominated by the sponsoring organisations for their expertise and association with SCA. The Strategic Board will oversee the strategic direction of all Working Groups, each with its own Chair, established for different areas of interest.
Committee Chairs will be appointed by the Strategic Board and such appointments will be reviewed every five years or as necessary to ensure both the Chair and the group remain current and practising. The Strategic Board reserves the right to take a majority decision on the appointment of the Chair of each of the Working Groups. Each Chair will report to the main committee on developments within their Working Group. The Chair holds responsibility and accountability for producing, editing, submission for publication and maintaining the methods within their groups’ area of responsibility. Chairs will be responsible for constituting their Working Group from volunteers who are recognised experts in their field. Depending upon the programme of work, specific tasks may be carried out by the main Working Group, or delegated to a specific panel or sub-group. Such panels will be chaired by a member of the Working Group, who may temporarily second experts from outside the group if deemed appropriate. If work is undertaken within a panel, the Chair of the panel will report progress to the appropriate Working Group.
Each Working Group will appoint a Secretary to take notes of meetings and act as a general facilitator, for example in the arrangement of meetings etc. Publication of methods and documentation arising from the work of the SCA will be open source through website access.
Each Working Group will prepare a plan that identifies specific outputs, target dates and success criteria based upon the strategic direction, for the period of the plan. The plan will contain expert opinion of which methods need to be produced or reviewed in response to research, regulation or an identified gap in the methodology available. The Working Group Chair will present the plan to the Strategic Board for approval. The Working Group will monitor, on a regular basis, the progress of work against the plan, and update and extend it, as necessary, in agreement with the strategy. The Chair of each Working Group will produce a report at least on an annual basis, to update progress and achievements made within the Working Group. The Chairs will meet with the Strategic Board annually to present their reports and to review progress against the strategic objectives. The annual review will include:
• current work programmes of all Working Groups;
• how and when they might be delivered;
• how they may be communicated to wider audiences; and
• established best UK practice.
Strategic meetings will occur at least annually but will be convened by the Chair as often as necessary in order to complete its programme of work. It is expected that any decisions that need to be made will be done so in a consensus manner, bearing in mind best UK practice.
Meetings will be hosted at the premises of the DWI, Environment Agency or by agreement one of the Strategic Board members.
The Secretary, within 14 working days of the meeting, will circulate notes of the meeting to committee members and be available publicly, detailing any actions to be taken by the committee or individuals.
Appendix I: Responsibilities: Chair and Working Groups
The Standing Committee of Analysts (SCA) exists to provide authoritative guidance on methods of sampling and analysis of waters and effluents, sewage sludges, sediments, soils (including contaminated land) and biota. Where appropriate, guidance on the sampling and analysis of air will also be produced. The primary duty of SCA will be to develop and publish recommended analytical methods. This will not include the provision of advice on, or interpretation of results. All methods published by the SCA should be capable of satisfying a regulatory demand, be fit for purpose and represent best practice within the United Kingdom (UK).
However, validation data published with methods represents performance under a particular set of circumstances and is provided for illustrative purposes only. It is incumbent on users of SCA methods to assess performance on their equipment, in their laboratories, with their personnel.