Great Ships Initiative




Quality Management refers to the identification and implementation of a structured and documented system of policies, objectives, principles, organizational authority, responsibilities, and accountability to ensure quality in work processes, products, and services. GSI takes quality management in ballast water management system (BWMS) testing extremely seriously to assure that BWMS developers, ship owners, regulatory agencies, and resource advocates receive accurate information that they can trust. The GSI Quality Management System also ensures that GSI remains completely independent and uncompromised by any real or perceived individual or project bias.  

The GSI Quality Management System provides the framework for planning, implementing, documenting, and assessing work performed by the organization and for carrying out required quality assurance/quality control (QAQC) activities. A wide variety of tools are used to implement, document and assess the GSI Quality Management System. These include:


GSI Quality Management Plan (QMP)

GSI's Quality Management Plan (QMP) is a program-level document that details the structure of the GSI quality management system from an organizational perspective. The plan is based on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (USEPAs) “Requirements for Quality Management Plans” to the greatest extent possible and covers all aspects of GSI’s commitment to quality, including policies and procedures; criteria for and areas of application; roles, responsibilities, and authorities; and assessment and response. It is the framework for planning, implementing, documenting, assessing and reporting the GSI’s quality assurance and quality control (QAQC) activities. Copies of this document are available available by request.


GSI Quality Assurance Project Plans (QAPPs)

GSI’s Quality Assurance Project Plans (QAPPs) describe the activities undertaken by GSI to assure the quality and credibility of its project-specific test findings, i.e., at the bench-scale, at the GSI land-based facility, or onboard a ship. Each QAPP covers all aspects of quality assurance/quality control (QAQC) relative to the specific project area, including:

  • Data quality indicators, evaluation processes, performance measures and acceptance criteria;
  • Instrument certification and calibration;
  • Personnel training requirements;
  • Documents and records;
  • Data management; and
  • QAQC assessments and response actions.

GSI QAPPs follow the format of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (USEPA’s) "Guidance for Quality Assurance Plans" to the greatest extent possible. Copies of GSI's land-based and shipboard QAPPs available by request.


GSI Test/Quality Assurance Plans (TQAPs) or Test Plans

GSI's Test/Quality Assurance Plans (TQAPs), also knows as Test Plans, describe GSI procedures for conducting a test of a specific ballast water management system (BWMS) at a specific testing scale (i.e., at the bench-scale, at the GSI land-based facility, or onboard a ship). At a minimum, GSI's TQAPs include detailed instructions for sample and data collection and analysis, sample handling and preservation, data quality objectives, and quality assurance and quality control (QAQC) requirements. Test objectives, dependent on the specific BWMS being tested, are also detailed in the TQAP. The relevant GSI QAPP is generally included as an appendix to individual TQAPs


GSI Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)

GSI uses standard operating procedures (SOPs) to implement all test activities.This facilitates consistent conformance to technical and quality system requirements and increases data quality. GSI's SOPs include both programmatic and technical processes and procedures such as sample collection, labeling, analysis and custody; and safety. The SOPs follow a common format and include specific QAQC procedures and metrics. GSI SOPs are grounded in published standard methods. They are also consistent with international and domestic guidelines where they exist. All GSI SOPs are subject to periodic review and revision to assure that the most up to date approaches are employed.

To date approximately 50 GSI SOPs have been developed and finalized, with many more in draft form or planned. Click here to view the current suite of GSI SOPs.


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