Role of the Association of Public Analysts

The role of the Association of Public Analysts (APA)

The Association of Public Analysts (APA) plays a pivotal role in the complex landscape of public health and safety. Ensuring the safety and compliance of food, water, and environmental samples, the APA's work is fundamental to protecting public health. In this blog, Dr Richard Dune explores the APA's role, its importance, and best practices for implementing relevant legislation and regulations.

Key facts and statistics

The APA has been at the forefront of analytical science since its inception in 1843. Today, its members are crucial in enforcing standards across various sectors. Here are some key statistics and facts highlighting the APA's significance:

  • Over 1 million food and water samples are tested annually by public analysts in the UK.
  • APA members work in accredited laboratories to ensure compliance with over 300 pieces of legislation.
  • The APA collaborates with regulatory bodies like the Food Standards Agency (FSA) and the Drinking Water Inspectorate (DWI) to uphold public health standards.

Key definitions

  • Public analyst - A qualified scientist appointed by local authorities to examine and test food, water, and environmental samples to ensure they meet legal standards.
  • Association of Public Analysts ( APA) - The APA is a professional body representing public analysts in the UK, providing guidance, training, and support to its members.

Legislation and regulations

Key pieces of legislation include:

  • Food Safety Act 1990 - This Act provides the framework for food safety regulations in the UK.
  • Water Supply (Water Quality) Regulations 2016 - These regulations set the standards for water quality.
  • Environmental Protection Act 1990 - Outlines the legal framework for waste management and environmental protection.

Importance of the APA

The APA's role is crucial in safeguarding public health by ensuring that consumables and the environment meet stringent safety standards. Their work involves:

  • Testing and analysis - Public analysts test food and water samples for contaminants, ensuring they meet safety standards.
  • Regulatory compliance - They help businesses comply with legal requirements, avoiding penalties and ensuring public safety.
  • Expert witnesses - Public analysts often serve as expert witnesses in legal cases involving food safety and environmental issues.

Best practices for implementing legislation and regulations

  • Comprehensive training - Is essential for anyone involved in regulatory compliance. This includes understanding the latest legislation, scientific advancements, and analytical techniques. The Mandatory Training Group offers up-to-date courses with current standards and regulations.
  • Regular Audits and Inspections - Are vital to ensuring ongoing compliance with legislation. These should be conducted by qualified public analysts and cover all aspects of food safety, water quality, and environmental standards.
  • Utilising compliance management software - Compliance management software like ComplyPlus™ can streamline the process of adhering to regulations. This software provides tools for tracking compliance, managing audits, and staying updated with legislative changes.

The role of Public Analysts

Public analysts are the backbone of food and environmental safety. They conduct rigorous testing to detect harmful substances and ensure compliance with safety standards. Their expertise is critical in identifying contaminants that could pose a risk to public health.

Collaboration with regulatory bodies

The APA works closely with regulatory bodies such as the FSA and DWI. This collaboration ensures that the standards for food and water safety are met and continually improved. Public analysts provide the data and insights necessary for these bodies to update regulations and protect public health.

The impact of legislation

Legislation like the Food Safety Act 1990 and the Environmental Protection Act 1990 set the groundwork for public safety. Public analysts play a crucial role in enforcing these laws by providing the scientific evidence to uphold them. Their work ensures that food and water supplies are safe and that environmental hazards are identified and mitigated.


  • Staying informed - Professionals must stay informed about legislative changes and scientific advancements. Continuous professional development and training courses, such as those provided by The Mandatory Training Group, are essential.
  • Implementing robust systems - Businesses should implement robust systems for managing compliance. This includes using tools like ComplyPlus™ to keep track of regulatory requirements and ensure that all practices meet the necessary standards.
  • Engaging with Public Analysts - Engaging with public analysts can provide businesses valuable insights into compliance and safety standards. Regular consultations and collaborations can help businesses stay ahead of potential issues and maintain high safety standards.


The Association of Public Analysts (APA) plays an indispensable role in safeguarding public health through rigorous testing and analysis. By understanding the APA's work and implementing best practices, businesses can ensure compliance with legislation and protect public health. For comprehensive compliance management and training, consider utilising ComplyPlus™ from The Mandatory Training Group.

Stay ahead in regulatory compliance and public health safety by investing in the right tools and training. Click here to learn more and explore ComplyPlus™ for comprehensive compliance management. Discover our range of training courses to ensure your team is always up-to-date with the latest legislation and best practices.

About the author

Dr Richard Dune

With over 20 years of experience, Richard blends a rich background in NHS, the private sector, academia, and research settings. His forte lies in clinical R&D, advancing healthcare tech, workforce development and governance. His leadership ensures regulatory compliance and innovation align seamlessly.

The role of the Association of Public Analysts (APA) - ComplyPlus™ - The Mandatory Training Group UK -

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