NATIONAL FALLING NUMBER QUALITY ASSURANCE PROGRAM
This Directive establishes a National Falling Number (FN) Quality Assurance Program and outlines procedures for participation by Federal Grain Inspection Service (FGIS) Field Offices and Official Service Providers who perform FN determinations on wheat. This program consists of a check sample program and an inspection monitoring program. The FN Quality Assurance Program will be administered on behalf of FGIS by the Technology and Science Division (TSD).
In 2012, FGIS performed over 25,000 official FN tests on wheat from 24 service points. Recently, stakeholders have asked GIPSA for a nationwide quality assurance program that includes inspection monitoring.
The goals of this program are to provide information that validates the level of accuracy among service points and, if possible, to improve the accuracy of the official FN testing program. The inspection monitoring program will assess the current performance and provide immediate feedback on accuracy for each service point and specific FN instrument. The feedback will include the TSD result for each sample and whether the results were within range, in the warning zone, or in the action zone.
Initially, TSD will collect and analyze one file sample per week from each service point and instrument. After acquiring sufficient data on sample volumes, the sample rate for each service point may be adjusted.
The check sample program will provide a system-wide assessment of the accuracy on a biannual basis and will help identify specific instruments or operators that may be providing inaccurate results. The check sample program will also allow TSD to investigate the level of accuracy among service points on samples with FN values that may not be available through the inspection monitoring program.
To view the entire directive, click on the link: http://www.gipsa.usda.gov/Lawsandregs/directives/9180-84.pdf