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Quality Assurance Project Plan

A Quality Assurance Project Plan, or QAPP, is a formal document that describes in comprehensive detail the necessary quality assurance, quality control, and other technical activities that must be implemented to ensure that the results of the work performed will satisfy the stated performance criteria.

Drafting a New QAPP

  • QAPPs shall be drafted, with the assistance and involvement of all relevant Program and QA staff, to meet the requirements contained in CIO 2105-S-02.0 . QAPP templates, also known as “shells”, are available for certain programs. The TCEQ Project Manager can provide more information on QAPP shells.
  • All participating organizations are given 30 days to review the initial draft and provide comment.
  • To avoid delays in project initiation, the QAPP should be submitted to TCEQ Project Managers at least four months before the planned start date (especially for QAPPs requiring EPA approval) unless other arrangements have been made.
  • No work covered under the QAPP shall begin until the QAPP has been fully approved with signatures affixed.

Amending a QAPP

  • Amendments to QAPPs are developed and approved to reflect changes in project organization, tasks, schedules, objectives, and/or methods; address deficiencies; improve operational efficiency; and accommodate unique or unanticipated circumstances. These changes will remain in effect until the next revision of the QAPP.
  • Amendments are effective immediately upon approval by the TCEQ Project Manager or designees, the Lead QA Specialist, the TCEQ QA Manager (or designee), and the EPA Region 6 Project Officer (when required). Amendments to QAPPs and the reasons for the changes shall be documented by the TCEQ Project Manager and distributed immediately to all individuals and organizations contained in the QAPP distribution list.
  • Amendments shall be incorporated into a revised QAPP during the anniversary revision process, or within 120 days of the QAPP's approval in cases of significant changes. For multi-year QAPPs, amendments must be attached to and noted in annual certification submissions.

Annual Certification of a Multi-Year QAPP

  • Multi-year QAPPs for EPA-funded programs and projects must be reviewed annually by the appropriate TCEQ Project Managers or Lead QA Specialist.
  • Reviews must be documented and include the relevant signatures to certify the review’s accuracy as well as copies of any program or project changes which were approved via amendment during the prior year.
  • If the annual certification process reveals the need for amendments to be made to the project, these should be approved by the EPA (or TCEQ QA Manager for delegated programs) before the completion of the annual certification.
  • Any minor administrative changes that will not have an impact on data or operations (e.g., organizational changes, schedule changes not affecting the project design or quality or quantity of work to be performed, etc.) shall also be included as part of the annual certification.
  • TCEQ Project Managers or designees must provide certification of the annual reviews to the TCEQ QA Manager and the appropriate EPA Region 6 Project Officer 30 days before the annual anniversary date.

QAPP Revisions and Reissuances

  • Until the work outlined in the QAPP is completed, the QAPP shall be revised as necessary and reissued by its expiration date or revised and reissued within 120 days of significant changes, whichever is sooner.
  • If the entire QAPP is current, valid, and accurately reflects the project goals and the organization's policy, the reissuance may be done by a certification that states that the plan is current and includes a copy of new, signed approval pages.

QAPP Approval Timetable

  • Unless other arrangements have been approved, new QAPPs, including annual and multi-year QAPP updates, shall be prepared and approved according to the following timetable.
Activity Office/Organization Timetable
Submittal for TCEQ QA review 135 days before project initiation/ QAPP expiration date
TCEQ Approval/Submittal to EPA 75-90 days before project initiation QAPP expiration date
Comments/ Approval from EPA 15 days before project initiation/ QAPP expiration date

For additional information regarding the preparation, review, approval, and distribution of QAPPs, please reference Appendix F of the TCEQ QMP