Last updated on 15 May 2003
Joint code of practice on quality assurance in research
The Agency, together with Defra, BBSRC and NERC, has developed a Joint Code of Practice on Quality Assurance in Research.
For the Agency, this is a major step towards implementing a key recommendation of the review of the Agency’s research portfolio and research management systems which reported in July 2001 (the Arbuthnott Report). The recommendation required that 'as a general rule, by 2006 Agency-funded research projects should only be placed at laboratories that have implemented quality assurance schemes acceptable to the Agency'. It is intended in the longer-term that most contractors will gain independent, third party accreditation of their quality assurance arrangements.
The new Code seeks to improve QA of the research process (e.g. traceability of samples, calibration of instruments) rather than the science, which has always been an integral part of evaluating research proposals. The single Code will ensure that research contractors working in the food, environment and agriculture areas are all adopting similar quality assurance procedures. The Devolved Authorities have subsequently endorsed the Code.