Complaints and disputes by applicant or accredited laboratories are dealt with according to established procedures.
The IL ELAP uses The NELAP Institute (TNI) definition of a complaint for purposes of this procedure: “Expression of dissatisfaction, other than an appeal, by any person or organization, to an accreditation body, relating to the activities of that accreditation body or of an accredited laboratory, where a response is expected.” Notification to the IL ELAP of a random error being made on the part of the IL ELAP may in itself not constitute a complaint. Complaints regarding an accredited laboratory or regarding the IL ELAP may be received by anyone within the Illinois EPA. However, when such a complaint is received it shall be brought to the immediate attention of the Laboratory Accreditation Unit (LAU) Supervisor.
Once a complaint (see Complaint Form) is received by the LAU, the LAU Supervisor will assess the validity of the complaint and the LAU will respond back to the complainant within seven days that the complaint was received and provide an estimate as to when the investigation will be completed.
The complaint will be entered into an Excel spreadsheet for tracking purposes. Once the investigation is completed, the LAU Supervisor or designated Laboratory Accreditation Officer (LAO) will take appropriate action and again responds back to the complainant. The LAU Supervisor or LAU QAO will follow-up on the actions, where applicable, within 60 days from implementation to assess the effectiveness of the actions taken. This follow-up will be recorded in the complaint Excel spreadsheet as well.
Complaints regarding an accredited laboratory, depending on the nature of the complaint, will result in the LAO and/or LAU Supervisor contacting the laboratory directly and/or by special assessment to evaluate the merits of the complaint. In all these cases the LAU Supervisor and/or his/her designee will be part of the assessment team for complaint investigations. Decision regarding regulatory/enforcement action will involve Agency management and/or Agency legal counsel.
Send to the Attention of:
Celeste Crowley, LAU Supervisor
Illinois Environmental Protection Agency
Division of Laboratories, Mail Code #22
825 North Rutledge, 4th Floor
Springfield, IL 62702