7 Best Laboratory Practices to Maintain Quality Data

7 Best Laboratory Practices to Maintain Quality Data


Lab equipment is the most valuable asset in a lab.  This is why keeping the equipment in top-notch conditions is critical to maintaining lab and data integrity. Having quality data is about ensuring that data integrity is intact.

What are Good Laboratory Practices (GLPs)?

Good Laboratory Practice (GLP) is a set of principles that guides how laboratory studies are planned, performed, monitored, recorded, reported, and archived.  It is important to realize that GLP helps to ensure the credibility and traceability of data submitted.  It also helps to improve the accountability and precision of data through transparent and detailed documentation.

Quality Assurance (QA)

The purpose of quality assurance is to verify that monitors quality test results.  It involves activities both inside and outside a laboratory, good laboratory practice and proper management skills.  The purpose of quality assurance is to give relevant, reliable, timely test results that are interprete correctly.

Implement and Adhere to Standard Operating Procedures

A standard operating procedure (SOP) is a set of written instructions that describes, in detail, how to perform a laboratory process or experiment safely and effectively.  SOPs aim to achieve efficiency, quality output and uniformity of performance while reducing miscommunication and failure to comply with industry regulations.

Equipment Maintenance

For each piece of equipment there should be:

  • A number for identification of the apparatus.
  • A calibration check (Which should be traceable to national and international standards).
  • Validation that equipment is fit for the purpose.
  • Operating and parameters.
  • Clean equipment.
  • Data logging and tracking.


Calibration is a comparison between a known measurement, the standard, and the measurement using your instrument.  The accuracy of your instrument will differ somewhat from the accuracy of the standard.  Standards organizations set acceptable accuracy ratios, and your instrument will specifically need to measure up to the requirements.

The calibration of your measuring instruments has two objectives.  First, it checks the accuracy of the instrument and then determines the traceability of the measurement.  Calibrations work differently for different instruments and an accredited lab will be able to provide the standards and requirements for your tools.


In a variety of industries, certification is especially a must for certain tasks.  In this case, you must have up-to-date calibrations on your instruments to stay in business.  A calibration certificate documents vital information about a piece of equipment and details.  Calibration certificates must contain certain information to assure compliance with the ISO 17025 Calibration.

Ensure all Techniques and Instruments Meet Validity

Validity is the extent to which an instrument measures what it is supposed to measure and performs as it is designed to perform.  It is nearly impossible that an instrument is 100% valid, so we generally measure validity in degrees.  Validation is a process that involves collecting and analyzing data to assess the accuracy of an instrument.

As a result, validation generates confidence in the analytical results generated by the equipment.

Documentation and Records

It must be remembered that documenting everything and maintaining good records must incorporate into every aspect of analysis, including the paperwork.  The reporting of results and the storage of records and reports is particularly critical in the maintenance of quality data.