Quality Assurance (QA) is a mission critical tool for quantitatively assessing the performance of laboratories. The performance of individual labs for specific measurements is determined by the use of a proficiency test. Results reported by labs are compared to a reference value for the given sample (measurand) and the laboratory’s performance is evaluated to aid in performance improvement. NIST coordinates three PT programs (NRIP, RTP, and BSAP) that target laboratories that perform measurements in support of the Nuclear Defense Spectrum.
The BSAP is an interagency mission that supports technical nuclear forensics for bulk Special Nuclear Materials (SNM) by providing and maintaining laboratory analysis capabilities commensurate with specific interagency requirements and the National Security Presidential Directive-17/Homeland Security Presidential Directive-4 (NSPD-17/HSPD-4), National Strategy to Combat Weapons of Mass Destruction. The designated BSAP Proficiency Test Provider (PTP) is NIST. The BSAP strategy for maintaining an established level of operational capability and quality performance entails laboratories participating in BSAP quality assurance (QA) activities such as proficiency testing (PT). The BSAP QA requirements assures that laboratories produce results that are reliable, accurate, and able to withstand scientific and legal scrutiny for the intended purpose of nuclear forensics.