Technical System Audits
A technical systems audit (TSA) is an on-site inspection and review of an organization's entire ambient air monitoring program. The U.S. EPA has delegated responsibility to the California Air Resources Board (CARB) to conduct TSAs for the monitoring organizations within CARB’s Primary Quality Assurance Organization at a frequency of once every six years. TSA audit procedures used by CARB are in accordance with those stipulated in the U.S. EPA's Quality Assurance Guidance Document (EPA-454/B-17-004).
During a TSA visit the total measurement system is reviewed (sample collection, sample analysis, data processing, etc.). The audit includes a review of staff, procedures, facilities, and documentation to assure compliance with federal air quality monitoring, quality control, quality assurance, siting, and data reporting regulations.
- Assessment of Staff:
- Chain of command regarding description of assignments and specific duties,
- Continued training, and
- Level of staffing.
- Assessment of Facilities:
- Laboratory and support facilities,
- Monitoring sites with respect to stated siting criteria and representativeness requirements,
- Calibration and audit frequency, and
- Assessment of Data and Document Control:
- Chain of custody,
- Validation and processing procedures,
- Reporting formats,
- Storage, and
- Assessment of the Quality Control Programs:
- Adequacy of procedures, and
- Adherence to procedures.
In advance of the on-site visit, an audit questionnaire is mailed to the audited organization by the auditors. The monitoring organization is to complete the questionnaire and return it to the CARB auditors prior to the on-site visit. Each TSA audit will be documented in a TSA report which is provided to the audited organization. The report includes the findings of the auditors and, whenever necessary, suggested corrective actions. It is the responsibility of the audited organization to develop corrective action plans to address all deficiencies and report such corrections to CARB's Quality Management Section.