MCERTS Soil Analysis

SOCOTEC provides MCERTs standard soil analysis and soil testing for the environmental industry. The MCERTs performance standard for soil analysis is assessed by UKAS on behalf of the Environment Agency. Compliance to the MCERTs standard includes specific requirements for MCERTs chemical analysis.

When procuring chemical soil testing, you will need to be aware of the following issues:

  • All data submitted to the Environment Agency, for regulatory purposes, must conform to MCERTs requirements
  • Does the laboratory have MCERTs for the parameters you require? Ensure the laboratory methods are appropriate and fit for purpose in terms of: Parameter
  • Critical levels of interest (the level at which a decision is to be made)
  • Check that your soil matrix is covered by the laboratories accreditation. SOCOTEC has MCERTs for three soil matrices: sandy, silt and clay soils. So if a laboratory is claiming MCERTs and you send in samples that are outside their validated matrices your reported results will not be accredited
  • Ensure your sampling procedures, preservation and transportation are appropriate to minimise loss of analytes for the analytical methods chosen. You will need to record details in the field
  • Ensure that details are recorded to satisfy complete audit trails, e.g. location of sample, depth, date/time taken, site preservation details. The selection and validation of methods

The Environment Agency has established its "Monitoring Certification Scheme" (MCERTs), to deliver high quality environmental measurements. The scheme is progressively being extended to cover all regulatory monitoring activities. There are currently standards in place for emissions to land, water and air.

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