All courses will be held in parallel at the Toronto Airport Marriott Hotel. Details are still being finalized and more courses may be added. Please check soon for updates.

Control Charts for Analytical Chemists. Instructor: Edgar F. Paski (ed@edpaski.com)

Workshop objectives: To give participants an understanding of control charts and their application in testing laboratories.

What you will learn

  • How to set up and use control charts for monitoring central tendency and precision.
  • Why control charts are essential for laboratories accredited to ISO/IEC 17025:(2005 and 2017)
  • How to use control charts for measurement uncertainty estimates
  • Using control charts for monitoring trends
  • Role of control charts in establishing metrological traceability of measurements

Who should attend: This one day workshop is designed for individuals engaged in making chemical, physical and microbiological measurements, regulatory body personnel, policy makers, users of measurement data.  The topics covered are relevant to analytical chemists, microbiologists, laboratory personnel, process engineers, managers, quality assurance and quality control specialists as well as supervisory personnel.

Practicum: Please bring an empty USB flash drive and a notebook PC with spreadsheet software (LibreOffice Calc or Microsoft Excel).

Workshop content

Introduction                Why control charts are an essential part of a lab’s quality system

  • Meeting requirements of the ISO/IEC 17025:(2005 and 2017) Standards
  • Common types of control charts: central tendency, precision
  • Trends: the basics of detection and evaluation of trends
  • Tools for charting: pen & paper, spreadsheets, SPC software
  • What to chart

Statistics                      The basis for control charting

  • Confidence intervals for the mean and standard deviation
  • Inference and decisions
  • Probabilities of events occurring and setting limits
  • How many points are needed for establishing limits
  • Updating and revising limits
  • Certified reference materials (CRM’s) and their specifications
  • Practicum

Central tendency         The Shewhart Chart

  • Establishing zones and limits
  • WECO, Nelson and Westgard rules for trends
  • Bias and measurement uncertainty
  • Practicum

Precision                      Range and Range Ratio Charts

  • When to use range charts and range ratio charts
  • Calculating range and range ratios
  • Factors for warning and control limits
  • Use in estimating measurement uncertainty
  • Trends
  • Practicum

Specialty charts           Charts for trends

  • Cusum for gradual drift
  • J Chart for trends and conventional limits
  • Practicum


Ed Paski earned his B.Sc. in Chemistry at the University of Waterloo and his Ph.D. in Analytical Chemistry at the University of British Columbia.  He has worked in industry and government in the areas of mining and mineral exploration, environmental chemistry, pulp and paper technology.  He teaches courses in analytical atomic spectrometry, quality assurance and the assayer certification program at the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT).  He assesses testing laboratories to the ISO/IEC 17025:(2005 and 2017) Standards for the Standards Council of Canada (SCC) and the Canadian Association for Laboratory Accreditation (CALA).  His professional interests include: plasma spectrochemistry, sampling, chemometrics, automated chemical analysis, trace elements in geological and environmental materials, quality assurance, laser applications in analytical chemistry, multidimensional luminescence spectrometry, computer applications in analytical chemistry.

ICP Elemental Analysis: from Sample Introduction to Matrix Effects. Instructor: José-Luis Todolí (Department of Analytical Chemistry, Nutrition and Food Science, University of Alicante, P.O. Box 99, 03080 Alicante, Spain, jose.todoli@ua.es)

This short course deals with practical aspects regarding the elemental analysis using both Inductively Coupled Plasma Optical Emission Spectrometry (ICP-OES) and Mass Spectrometry (ICP-MS). A first chapter contains the description of the design and operating principles of liquid sample introduction systems including nebulizers, spray chambers and desolvation systems. Attention will be paid to the analysis of microsamples requiring the use of the so-called low sample consumption systems. Advice about the selection of suitable devices according to the application considered as well as those aimed at optimizing the performance of the ICP spectrometer will be given.

Interferences are still one of the most severe problem faced by plasma spectrochemistry. They can be classified as spectral and non-spectral phenomena. The different sources of interferences will be thoroughly discussed in a second part of the present course. Matrices will be classified as inorganic acids, easily ionized elements and organics. Methods to alleviate and/or to remove matrix effects will be discussed. As a representative example, the analysis of petroleum products and biofuels through ICP will be the focus of the course final part. This analytical challenge will be considered from the point of view of sample preparation, introduction, signal optimization and speciation.

Laser Ablation Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry. Instructor: Henry Longerich (Earth Sciences, Memorial University of Newfoundland, St. John’s, NL A1B 3X5, Canada, henryl@mun.ca)

While the emphasis of this course deals with the fundamentals of laser ablation (LA) sample introduction into an inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometer (ICPMS), this course will start with a personal early history of ICPMS, which I first “discovered” in 1983.  Shortly after, in the spring of 1984, the first ELAN 250 instrument was delivered by the Ontario company SCIEX to the National Research Council of Canada, an Ottawa, Ontario laboratory.  Just before Christmas in 1984, we installed the tenth commercially delivered instrument from SCIEX.  A few years later, in 1989, we built our first LA system for applications emphasizing the micro analysis of development of both the ICPMS and later the LA systems, and a recommendation to look for the major advance in elemental and isotopic analysis, which is long overdue. 

A discussion will follow concerning the ICPMS, which is a fundamental component of a complete (LA-ICPMS) system, including most importantly the detectors, system settling times, and the operator choices of data acquisition parameters.  Understanding of these components of the ICPMS are essential for data interpretation, the production of quality results, as well as assisting a buyer in choosing among available commercial instruments, noting that some special considerations should be made when purchasing an ICPMS for LA applications.  Details of LA systems in general, with a special detailed discussion on choices of lasers, laser induced elemental fractionation, and analytical detection limits will be included.