The Standing Committee of Analysts

The Standing Committee of Analysts

 

 

 

Foreword

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

 

 

Contents

Introduction                                                              
Purpose                                                                      
Objectives                                                                  
Strategic Objective 1                                                
Strategic Objective 2                                                
Strategic Objective 3                                                
Strategic Objective 4                                                
Strategic Objective 5                                               
Management of SCA                                                
Membership                                                              
Structure of SCA                                                       
Work Plan                                                                  
Meetings                                                                
Appendices:
App I: Working Group Responsibilities                   
App II: SCA Strategic Board Members and responsibilities      


 

Introduction

Mission Statement
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.

Purpose

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:

  • carry out regular reviews of published methods for  sampling, sample handling and chemical and microbiological analysis of water, waste water and related materials1.
  • update and revise existing methods and provide new methods as necessary;
  • report on its progress.
  • approve publication

 

Objectives

  • Develop and publish methods that are current, robust, usable and globally recognised

 

  • Build relationships in order that laboratories and regulators and accreditation bodies alike have confidence in SCA methods
  • To be a trusted and professional body

 

  • To be recognised experts in Drinking Water and Environmental Analysis established upon a sound scientific base
  • To be an industry focus for innovation and analytical R&D in our field of chemical and microbiological analysis of water, waste water and related materials1.

 

Strategic objective 1

Develop and publish methods that are current, robust, usable and globally recognised

  • We will endeavour to review all of our current methodology, taking account of available resources. We will maintain our methods and keep them up to date.
  • We will archive methods that are still valid, but not currently recognised as best practice.
  • Our methods will be reference methods.
  • We will assess the requirements of our stakeholders and prioritise our work accordingly.
  • SCA methods will be promoted as the basis for international methods via relevant institutions
  • Members of the SCA will actively promote its’ work and its’ methods when engaging with organisations.

 


Strategic objective 2

Build relationships in order that laboratories and regulators and accreditation bodies alike have confidence in the methods

  • Strategic Board members will actively engage with stakeholder organisations such as regulators, standardisation and accreditation bodies and professional societies
  • We will strive to create a global user list by actively engaging participation from our stakeholder groups and reaching out to new members.
  • We will publicise the work of the SCA.
  • We will produce a marketing plan to promote the work of the SCA.

 


Strategic objective 3

To be a trusted and professional body

  • We will be open and transparent and publish our actions.
  • We will maintain the standard of our publications and maintain the SCA’s reputation as a source of analytical excellence.
  • We will achieve this by voluntary contribution and the goodwill of all participants and their organisations. We acknowledge support from the Environment Agency and their funding of the secretariat and our publications.
  • We will do this by having members of the Strategic Board who are senior representatives of the stakeholder organisations and have the ability to, and are capable of providing strategic advice.
  • Chair persons are expected to be leading participants in the area of expertise for their Working Group and should participate in committee meetings on a voluntary basis.

 


Strategic objective 4

To be recognised experts in Drinking Water and Environmental Analysis is established upon a sound scientific base

  • Methods will be produced by Working Groups which will be made up of experienced practitioners who are expected to actively contribute to the research, development and publication of methods for chemical and microbiological analysis of water, waste water and related materials1.
  • The SCA will actively encourage organisations supporting Working Group practitioners to contribute to any ongoing research effort in which members are active.

 


Strategic objective 5

To be an industry focus for innovation and R&D

  • We will encourage open participation by industry and other stakeholders.
  • We will encourage open communication with regulators, accreditation organisations and professional and learned bodies.
  • We are responsive to industry regulation changes and emerging challenges.
  • We will prioritise the development and publication of methods that incorporate best practice and the most recent advances in analytical technology

 


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.

Membership
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.

Work Plan
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.

Meetings
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 Chair:
    • Should be active or be a recognised expert in the discipline for the group they are the Chair of.
    • Assemble the Working Group or specific project group from practising members of the analytical community or persons who have significant experience in the area but may not be actively working in the area.
    • Constitute groups from members as appropriate to the assigned task in hand.
    • Identify methods which need to be produced or reviewed as a result of research, regulation or changes such as best practice.
    • Be responsible for the publishing, review and maintenance of methodology whilst ensuring:
      • Strategic objectives are observed
      • Format and style are in keeping with the SCA
      • Are unbiased or motivated by anything other than scientific and analytical progression.

  • The Secretary
    • To produce an agenda in consultation with the Chair including points of discussion
    • Ensure notice is given of a meeting
    • Organise a suitable venue with confirmation
    • Ensure reports are submitted before the meeting and documented
    • Circulate papers ahead of meetings
    • Provide necessary paperwork on the day.
    • Take notes of meetings including approvals of previous minutes, apologies, key points and actions and produce the minutes following a meeting for approval.
    • Send reminders of outstanding action ahead of meetings.
    • Retain, log and send correspondence in the group.
    • Retain an up to date list of methods and the methods themselves.
    • Maintain the integrity and format of the methods.

 

  • The Group members:
    • Support the Chair
    • Contribute to the research, validation and writing of the methods
    • Make themselves available for meetings.
    • Accept that they may be selected or de-selected within group(s) based upon need and experience

Purpose.

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.