Can I join part way through a scheme year?
Yes, its is possible to join the scheme at any stage in the year. Any components distributed in the scheme year before membership was taken out, however, would not be available. Please visit the Contact Us page to get in contact with the relevant scheme component contract manager in regards to joining the NMBAQC.
Who can join?
Anyone carrying out marine biological work such as epibiota, benthic invertebrate, macroalgae, phytoplankton and fish identification.
It is a DEFRA requirement that any consultant wishing to tender for marine biological work from government agencies (EA, SEPA, EHS NI, CEFAS, AFBI NI, Marine Scotland-Science and the countryside agencies) must be a member of a quality control scheme to be considered.
Our current list of participants in the scheme can be found here.
What are the drivers for the scheme?
See "About" for further information about the NMBAQC scheme.
THE NMBAQC LOGO
The NMBAQC scheme logo was created by Richard Parks (a former planktonologist from SEPA) and is a visual pun depicting a Caprellid shrimp adopting the shape of a microscope.
Is this scheme a certfication?
No. The NMBAQC scheme is a quality assurance scheme developed on behalf of the UK competent monitoring authorities (CMAs). The aims of which are to promote best practice for laboratories in relation to various marine identification skills through a range of exercises/quizzes/workshops and ring tests.
Am I allowed to use the NMBAQC logo on my documents?
NMBAQC participants are authorised to use the schemelogo on reports or other documents as an indication that they are current participants in the scheme and are taking part in relevant quality assurance exercises. Such documents may be circulated to external customers or clients. The context of the NMBAQC logo must not suggest or imply that it confers any sort of accreditation. Participants may provide clients with copies of their authorised Statement of Performance (SOP). Participants should not comment on the performance of any other participants whether known or unknown to them.
Are there any other Marine Science QA schemes in the UK?
JNCC has a long history of involvement in monitoring seabird communities both at sea and at breeding stations. From July 2022, the annual monitoring scheme is organised by the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) in partnership with JNCC, and with the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) as an associate partner. Please visitJNCC website for further information.
There are also various marine mammal programmes around the UK. Further information regarding these can be found by visiting here.
What is BEQUALM?
The Biological Effects Quality Assurance in Monitoring Programmes (BEQUALM) began as an EU funded project November 1998, its main purpose to develop a quality assurance (QA) scheme for marine biological effects monitoring techniques, which would eventually become self-funding. Under the EU phase, QA/QC procedures were developed by expert laboratories for a number of biological effects measurements. The research programme was completed in April 2002 and in September 2004 the BEQUALM self-funded scheme was launched. BEQUALM was closed in 2014.
The scheme comprised four components:
- Whole Organism (bioassays and fish disease) - led by the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas)
- Biomarkers- led by the Norwegian Institute for Water Research (NIVA)
- Luminescent Bacteria- led by Technical University of Catalonia (UPC)
- Community Analysis- led by the UK National Marine Biological Analytical Quality Control (NMBAQC)scheme, since 2016 known as NE Atlantic Marine Biological Analytical Quality Control Scheme.