Recently a group of CARO employees attended the AGM for the Association for Professional Chemists of BC (ACPBC). We came away inspired to highlight Professional Chemists (PChems) practicing in Western Canada. Currently, over 25% of CARO’s staff are PChems which is the most of any laboratory in BC, in AB and quite possibly in Canada. Why does this matter?
A laboratory industry trend has been towards staff with limited scientific background conducting very standardized analytical procedures. While this decreases costs, it calls into question bench-level understanding of fundamental scientific principles that support each test method. Our belief is that supporting science-trained PChems also supports higher quality data. It also provides clients with the opportunity to interact with other professionals on technical matters associated with project set up, method selection and data review.
Example: Recently, a CARO service representative (CSR) – who was a PChem – became aware of a client planning to re-sample an entire soil vapour monitoring project because they had originally missed requesting certain analytes for testing. Our CSR had sufficient technical knowledge and experience to inform the client that CARO conducts “full scan” analysis for soil vapour. We were able to reprocess and report 2-year old “raw” data from the original analysis. Not only did this save the client considerable sampling costs it also preserved their relationship with their client.
Supporting PChems can provide significant long term value to clients; it can enhance data reliability; and it enhances our industry by creating career paths for new professional chemists. PChems are also more inclined towards R&D initiatives. CARO’s PChems have led the way with soil vapour testing development in North America, and they continue to push the practice in areas such as low-level metals testing and low-level VOC analysis. This all combines to benefit our clients, our staff and the environmental monitoring industry that we are proud to be part of.