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Deviating Samples

UKAS audit laboratories to both ISO 17025 and MCERTS in the UK, and they participate in the European Accreditation (EA) system concerned with the harmonisation of standards across Europe. A recent policy document issued by this organisation can be found at:

This has caused UKAS to raise a mandatory action for all laboratories to implement this policy with respect to deviating samples, and their own statement regarding this action can be found at:

Deviating (or non-conforming) samples are defined as those which may have been compromised in some way during sampling, transportation, storage or analysis, and which may cause the integrity of the data to be questioned. Examples of deviating samples include:

  • No separate volatile container supplied
  • Headspace present in volatile or BOD container
  • No preserved bottles supplied
  • Holding time exceeded click here to see our holding times
  • Temperature exceeded
  • No sampling date supplied (mandatory for MCERTS)
  • AQC failed during run and sample cannot be repeated
  • Deviation from method, e.g.  limited sample size or matrix issues

When samples are received, the email sent to confirm receipt and scheduled tests, will also contain details of any non-conforming samples.  This will then provide the option for clients to notify DETS if they do not want the testing to proceed.

If the testing does proceed, and any samples are deviating, then a statement will appear in the final report to this effect, as required by UKAS.


DETS  - dependable data, dependable delivery