Take samples and measurements for quality assurance purposes

Business Sectors (Suites): Treatment Processing and Control in the Water Industry
Developed by: Energy & Utility Skills
Approved on: 01 Dec 2018


This Standard is about organizing and sequencing activities and taking samples and measurements for quality assurance purposes. It may require travel to different sampling and measurement locations.
It includes preparing sampling equipment reagents and containers prior to use, taking representative samples and measurements and correctly labelling them, disposing of any waste products safely, transporting samples and equipment and delivering samples as required,  
The Standard is suitable for operatives at water, waste water and sludge treatment processing plants and for water distribution samplers.

Performance criteria

You must be able to:

  1. check that the condition of the equipment and how it is stored conforms to manufacturers' specifications and employers' procedure

  2. check that the sample containers and labels are suitable for the work which is planned

  3. assemble the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) that it is suitable for the work schedule

  4. check that there is provision to dispose of waste materials safely

  5. resolve any difficulties connected to travelling to different sampling and measurement locations

  6. use equipment to take the sample and containers to transport the sample in line with the organisation’s procedures 

  7. handle materials, equipment and samples in line with current regulation and company policy

  8. clean equipment after use and before returning it to storage as specified in employers’ procedures

  9. store equipment and materials to be re-used in the designated place(s) as specified in employers’ procedures

  10. enter and exit the sampling and measurement locations in line with the organisation’s procedures

  11. prepare containers, reagents and any portable or other equipment, making sure that reagents are within date 

  12. take samples and measurements at the position and time specified in the organisation’s procedures

  13. label samples according to the organisation’s procedures

  14. take samples and measurements in line with hygiene and safety requirements

  15. dispose of any waste in the designated place and in line with the organisation’s procedures and current legislation

  16. deliver samples to the designated person or place

  17. plan and register work in line with the organisation’s procedures

  18. take samples and measurements in line with the organisation’s procedures

  19. access, exit and move around the sampling locations in line with the organisation’s procedures

  20. maintain records of successful and aborted activities in line with the organisations’ procedures and in the format for audit and quality assurance purposes

  21. report any defective or unsafe sampling and measuring equipment to the designated person in line with the organisation’s procedures

  22. record and report result of measurements which are outside the expected range to the designated people in line with the organisation’s procedures

Knowledge and Understanding

You need to know and understand:

1. the organisation’s quality assurance procedures, and the factors which can affect the quality of sampling and measurement work 2. the organisation’s process for safe working practices when dealing with equipment, instrumentation and environment, including lone working  3. legal powers of access and the organisation’s procedures for gaining access to sampling and measurement locations 4. the importance of using transport and storing equipment, materials and samples securely to prevent contamination of samples and the implications if contamination 5. types and use of sampling and measurement equipment and other materials, and the implications of using inappropriate or defective equipment or failing to report a defect 6. the importance of maintaining sampling and measurement equipment and calibrating it where required 7. the importance of disposing of waste and reagents and the dangers of disposing of them incorrectly 8. the importance of identifying abnormalities in measurement results and the impacts to the customer 9. the organisation’s reporting procedures and the implications of not reporting sampling and measurement results outside the expected range 10. the organisation’s customer service procedures 11. the steps involved in recording sample and measurement results 12. the steps involved in efficient work scheduling and planning of own daily work activities 13. the steps involved in compiling, administering and filing of records and reports 14. the importance of using data for quality assurance, monitoring, and audit 15. the role and purpose of data audit trails and the importance of using and maintaining them 16. the steps involved in recognising inaccurate information 17. the importance of storing information and documentation in the correct location 18. the way sample information is used by other people  19. how the information relating to sampling and measurement activities is provided to and used by other people  20. the importance of supplying accurate and legible information and in an appropriate format within identified time 21. the importance of ensuring the sample is taken at the time and in circumstances to ensure the sample is representative


Scope Performance

Scope Knowledge





Links To Other NOS

External Links

Version Number


Indicative Review Date

01 Dec 2021





Originating Organisation

Energy & Utility Skills

Original URN


Relevant Occupations

Engineering, Plant and Machine Operatives, Plant Maintenance

SOC Code



Sampling, duty of care, hazard, risks