Have You Defined a Fence Line for Your Quality Management System?

Best Management Practices for Environmental Laboratories
Oral Presentation

Prepared by E. Turner
Pace Analytical Services, LLC, 1712 Addison Grace Lane, Wylie, Texas, 75098, United States

Contact Information: [email protected]; 469-585-1038


A fence line is an operational area. It can be defined by a physical area, an organizational grouping such as a department of specific operations of an organization.

A Quality Management System is a requirement of all environmental lab certification and accreditation programs. Analysis of samples by a certified / accredited laboratory is a common requirement of regulatory programs.

An organization defines the fence line of its Quality Management System through its Quality Assurance Manual, policies and procedures. Do you understand how your organization has defined it's fence line? It is not unusual for laboratories to violate its established fence line without knowing it. Or perhaps an organization has too narrowly defined it's fence line. Does the lab treat compliance and non-compliance samples differently? Is the laboratory process for method validation different for accredited and non-accredited methods?

This presentation will discuss different examples of how commercial, private and municipal laboratories have defined their fence lines and the risks/benefits associated with each example.