The Regional Water Authority laboratory maintains a rigorous training program for all staff members to ensure that data obtained either meets or exceeds all regulatory requirements. Training is provided internally and externally to assure that adequate knowledge and skills are developed by the analysts to provide the level of expertise that is required in the profession. In addition, it is management’s commitment that all personal are trained to understand the quality documentation, and how to implement the policies and procedures to their work.
All new hires are given the QA/QC plan along with the Standard Operating Procedures and EPA approved methods of interest to review. At this point, either the Laboratory Manager or their designee will review the information provided to the individual and be available for questions or concerns.
Once the new hire has completed all the required reading, they are assigned to a trainer who will provide them with applied direction and guidance. The trainer must have a current Employee Approval Training Sheet sign-off for the procedure in their Personnel Training Record. The trainer will be held responsible for the employees training and will provide all the information required by the trainee to perform the procedures within the guidelines required by EPA and the Regional Water Authority. Depending on the qualification and past experience of the new hire, the training period may vary from a few weeks to a few months. Trainees must make sure that they understand the information being communicated to them. They should ask questions about anything they do not understand which might compromise the performance of a procedure. The practical training is concluded at the time it is determined that the individual can perform the procedures required without assistance and the initial demonstration of capability is completed. In many instances where a compliant method requires both an IDC and MDL study the new hire will perform these studies prior to their release from the assigned staff. In addition, Employee Approval Training Sheet is completed and approved by the laboratory manager.
In addition to the training provided to new hires, all employees are encouraged to continue expanding their knowledge base. Regional Water Authority does pay for employees to attend seminars or college classes and provides external trainers to discuss new instrumentation and new method techniques.