Environmental Laboratory

  • MCERTS for Environmental Data Management Software  

MCERTS for Environmental Data Management Software  

Jun 20 2010 Read 1122 Times

The MCERTS standard for Environmental Data Management Software was published by the Environment Agency in June 2008. It encompasses Environmental Data Management Software for both air and water monitoring applications.

Sira Environmental Ltd delivers the MCERTS schemes, including MCERTS Software certification, working closely with the Environment Agency (EA) to implement the required legislation

As Mike Healy, Technical Advisor for the EA observed, “Much of the data we receive for regulatory purposes comes via computer applications that store and manipulate raw data. Poor software and data management can seriously affect the quality of the data and inappropriate environmental outcomes may arise.”

The MCERTS standard is split into three main sections as follows:

Part A – Generic Software Quality
Part B – Generic Data Management (performance of the data management application)
Part C – Sector specific (requirements that are additional to those in Part B):
Part C1 – CEMS Generic Data Management
Part C2 – CEMS EN14181 Data Management
Part C3 – Dynamic Flow Profiling and Verification (under development)
Part C4 – Flowmeter Verifiers (under final draft)

Mike Healy comments, “This standard will help ensure we can be confident in the quality of the data used to inform our decision making.”

MCERTS certification of data management software provides benefits to the user, the manufacturer / service provider and the regulator. It is a well established mark of quality, and demonstrates the data management software is fit for purpose.

Sira asked two of its clients, a1 CBISS and EHS Data Ltd for their thoughts on the MCERTS Software Scheme.

George Forster, Software Manager of a1 CBISS commented “Our certified software (CDAS Elite) is a complete data acquisition and reporting system designed to meet requirements of WID, LCPD and EN14181. The certification process (for software) was easy for us as most of the requirements of the standard were being done anyway. We found the auditor very fair and helpful when we needed advice on how best to fill the gaps in our procedures to meet the standard.”


Phil Ely of EHS Data Ltd, remarked:

“EHS Data Ltd Provides Monitor-Pro Monitoring Data Management Systems. They have been in use for over 14 years, and now manage data at approaching 1,000 sites worldwide.

“The certification process was very rewarding. It was an ideal opportunity to have all of our systems audited from beginning to end, from coding standards right through to delivery and customer support. The auditor was very thorough, and we were proud that very few improvements were identified. These were easily addressed, and we achieved MCERTS within a very short period, just over two months from start to end.

“MCERTS is far more suited to us than quality systems such as ISO9000, because it takes the basic principles of ISO9000 and goes much further. Whereas ISO9000 would verify that we have adequate quality systems and an intent to improve, MCERTS verifies that our product actually does what it is claimed to do, and verifies that our programming standards, systems and documentation is all in place and professionally managed. It is the only certification of its kind that we are aware of for environmental data management software worldwide, and so it is key information for organizations’ worldwide who are considering adopting a system such as ours.”


Sira’s MCERTS Software Services

As the only body selected by the EA to operate the MCERTS schemes, Sira provides certification services for organisations that build software systems.

More information about MCERTS (and the MCERTS standard) can be seen at www.mcerts.net and existing MCERTS certificates and Sira services can be accessed at www.siraenvironmental.com. Alternatively you can email us at info@siraenvironmental.com.

Footnote
If you are a manufacturer of MCERTS equipment and would like Sira to feature your product range and the impact MCERTS certification has had to your organisation, please contact Sira at info@siraenvironmental.com
 

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