Quality assurance project plan (QAPP) templates for grantees & data gatherers
Most environmental science grantees, including those receiving grants from the National Estuary Program, need to submit a quality assurance project plan (QAPP) for approval before beginning work.
A QAPP is intended to ensure that projects which collect or analyze environmental data develop plans for field, laboratory, and analytical activities that meet quality standards appropriate to the goals and scope of the project. Our quality assurance (QA) framework and documents are based on policies and guidance from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
- Use the Quality Assurance Project Plan template for the development of your QAPP. The template includes information and instructions needed for the preparation of a QAPP.
- The QAPP Review Checklist can also be used as you prepare the QA Project Plan; it provides a list of all the required elements for the plan.
- QAPPs for NEP grantees (PDF presentation) provides an overview of the purpose and process of writing a QAPP.
- Examples of Quality Assurance Project Plans links to well-written QAPPs for completed projects. Each contains the required QAPP elements, though some may not reflect the current template format.
- Guidelines for Preparing Quality Assurance Project Plans for Environmental Studies is a downloadable Ecology publication that provides detailed guidance on preparing a QAPP. It includes a glossary of key QA terminology.
Standard procedures for field sampling & analysis
Grantees are required to use standard operating procedures (SOPs) for any field sampling and field analytical activities they undertake.
- Our main Quality Assurance page offers access to all of our published SOPs.
Help with laboratory accreditation
Any data submitted to us or funded by us must be performed by an accredited lab using an accredited method.
- Our laboratory accreditation website provides more information about laboratory accreditation.
National Estuary Program grantee considerations
Everyone who receives funding for a project from the federal EPA’s National Estuary Program (NEP) through any Washington state agency will need to work with Ecology's NEP Quality Coordinator to fulfill quality assurance requirements.
As soon as a final agreement or contract statement of work is in place, contact the NEP Quality Coordinator to determine whether a quality assurance project plan (QAPP) will be required (see flowchart diagram). In general, a QAPP is required if your project will do any of the following activities:
- Generate new environmental data.
- Analyze existing environmental data.
- Model environmental conditions.
The earlier in your project you begin the QAPP process, the easier it will be.
Please reach out to the NEP Quality Coordinator early in your process to discuss whether your project requires a QAPP. Contact information is at the bottom of this page.
You cannot begin work on your project until you either have an approved QAPP or confirmation from the NEP Quality Coordinator that a QAPP is not required.