Public Analysts are the highly skilled scientists who form the primary scientific base of the United Kingdom's public protection enforcement service where chemical analysis and related testing are appropriate. In Scotland Public Analysts are also responsible for microbiological examination of food.
There are 24 Public Analyst laboratories within the UK, forming an integrated and mutually supportive network with massive technical capability to ensure the best scientific expertise is available to local authorities for their law enforcement role. The Association of Public Analysts is strengthened by another 7 laboratories located in Eire, The Isle of Man, the Channel Islands and Australia.
Some laboratories are private practices, whilst others are local government departments; all provide the same essential high quality service to the community. A complete list of UK Public Analysts' laboratories, is given in The Laboratories section.
Objectives of the Association
The APA is an independent, professional association whose members are appointed Public Analysts. The objectives for which the Association was established are:
- To uphold and maintain the character and position of Public Analysts and Official Agricultural Analysts and of the profession of analytical chemistry in the public service;
- To protect and advance the interests of Public Analysts and Official Agricultural Analysts;
- To promote co-operation between Public Analysts;
- To encourage, assist and extend the knowledge and study of analytical chemistry;
- To encourage, assist and extend the knowledge and study of all questions relating to the adulteration, contamination, description and composition of food, drugs and commercial products