The NMBAQC Scheme was set up to provide quality control/assurance to the macrobenthic invertebrate elements of the Clean Seas Environmental Monitoring Programme (CSEMP; formerly the NMMP); it has since provided the external quality assurance for statutory monitoring to report to Government and the EU. These reporting requirements have led to the NMBAQC diversifying into other biological disciplines. The elements of the Scheme are detailed in the NMBAQC website.
The newly developed zooplankton component aims to improve the quality of zooplankton identification through practical ring test and additional workshops.
The 2018/2019 Zooplankton Ring Test aims to:
• Improve the quality of marine zooplankton identification;
• Assess current skill levels;
• Provide a venue for taxonomic discussion during a two day workshop.
The NMBAQC scheme is open to participants from across the European Union. All UK Competent Monitoring Authority laboratories and their contractors undertaking sample analysis for statutory marine monitoring programmes are required to participate within an externally run analytical quality control scheme. The NMBAQC fulfils this role.