Documenting Environmental Monitoring

It is not easy to document environmental monitoring. There are too many themes, not merely microbiological, but also immediate physical measures. They interact and overlap, and finally integrate in an "holistic" manner. With changing standards and with local responses to the needs of individual regulators, environmental programs tend to grow erratically until documentation becomes difficult to sustain.

This chapter recommends a particular approach that many companies have found successful. This program splits environmental monitoring into "bite-size chunks"

under an "umbrella" site policy. "Beneath" the site policy there is a site environmental program. Alternatively, there may be departmental environmental programs according to practical needs.

Further, there are methods unique to the environmental program (e.g., active air sampling, swabbing) and, further still, "enabling" methods and techniques that allow the program to be run properly (growth support tests, identification, etc.).

This type of approach to documentation allows personnel to be trained in specific techniques according to organisational needs, and in monitoring those parts of the facility to which they are assigned (in large facilities this may not be everywhere). It also allows for easy revision.

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