An official website of the United States government.

This is not the current EPA website. To navigate to the current EPA website, please go to This website is historical material reflecting the EPA website as it existed on January 19, 2021. This website is no longer updated and links to external websites and some internal pages may not work. More information »

Quality Assurance Project Plan Development Tool

This tool contains information designed to assist in developing a Quality Assurance (QA) Project Plan that meets EPA requirements for projects that involve surface or groundwater monitoring and/or the collection and analysis of water samples. The structure of the tool is intended to step one through the thought process of planning a project, as well as to provide a framework for documenting the plan. The tool is divided into modules as follows:

Module 1

Module 1. Guidance on Preparing a QA Project Plan: This guidance provides a streamlined version of EPA's national QA documents (EPA Requirements for Quality Assurance Project Plans, EPA QA/R-5 and companion guidance EPA Guidance for the Preparation of Quality Assurance Project Plans, EPA QA/G-5) and represents a graded approach to QA Project Plan for water quality monitoring projects. The guidance follows the same basic organization structure as the Template and Model QA Project Plan described, respectively, in Modules 2 and 3 below.

Top of Page

Module 2

Module 2. QA Project Plan Template:This template provides a formatted outline to serve as a basis for documenting your QA Project Plan. Each section of the template includes a brief description of the information to include (which supplements the more detailed information provided in Module 1). The template also includes example tables, figures and/or appendices providing optional ways to present project information. The template is provided as a guide and is not a requirement to follow exactly. (Note: You may copy and save the template to your computer.)

Top of Page

Module 3

Module 3. Model QA Project Plan:The model is provided as an example of what a completed QA Project Plan might look like. It follows the same basic structure as the guidance and template included in Modules 1 and 2, while demonstrating flexibility in applying the structure to an example project.

Top of Page

Module 4

Module 4. References and Links: This module provides a great deal of both technical and QA information that may assist with designing and planning a project.


Primary Guidance

Secondary Guidance

Supplemental Technical Information

Analytical References

Other Tools

Organizational Website Links

Top of Page

Module 5

Module 5. Standard Operating Procedures: The module contains a compilation of information from various Regions and Tribes represented on the workgroup who initially developed this tool. The Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) are provided as a basis for developing ones own SOPs to fit the way ones own organization implements its environmental sampling and analysis program. To request SOPs noted in this Module, contact Pat Svetaka ( or 617-918-8396.

Top of Page

Module 6

Module 6. Selecting an Environmental Laboratory: The module describes a number of factors to be considered to assist in choosing a laboratory to meet specific project needs. How you choose to weigh the different factors presented will be dependent on your individual circumstances.

Note: This QA Project Plan development tool was initially developed as a CD-ROM for Tribal organizations that may not have internet access. The CD-ROM was made possible through the efforts of various EPA and Tribal organizations. For a CD-ROM version of the information above, please contact Pat Svetaka ( or 617-918-8396 of the EPA QA Unit.

Top of Page