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Quality assurance of ambient air measurements

The need

The quality of our air has an impact on both human health and the wider ecosystem. It is therefore essential that air quality across the UK is routinely monitored in order to protect human health and the natural environment. These measurements require effective quality assurance to ensure that they meet the requirements of Defra. Once suitably quality controlled, these measurements can then be used in support of Local Air Quality Management (LAQM) and compliance assessment.

The impact

 Quality Assurance is delivered in two stages:

  1. Site performance audits
  2. Ratification of data

We deliver both stages of quality assurance covering site location, suitability of instrumentation, current performance and calibration of instruments. In addition, we also offer operating practices, data storage and processing, procedures and frequency for calibration, documentation, statistical procedures and compatibility with national network standards.

We are UKAS-accredited to ISO 17025 for site performance audits and provide data ratification for the 16 sites making up the Automated London Network, a subset of sites within Defra’s Automatic Urban and Rural Network (AURN). The primary function of the AURN is to provide data in compliance with the UK Air Quality Limit Values and Targets.

NPL have established world-leading expertise in the procedures used to assure the quality of all types of environmental gas and particulate measurements.

The data and information from the AURN are utilised by scientists, policy makers and planners to enable them to make informed decisions on managing and improving air quality for the benefit of health and the natural environment.