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Systematic planning


Systematic planning is an evidence-based approach to site investigation and cleanup under the Environmental Restoration Program (ERP). All projects under the ERP require comprehensive planning including quality assurance and quality control (QA/QC) measures to obtain data of appropriate quality for the intended purpose. This spans investigation, information acquisition, and results assessment to support ERP project success. 

Jump to Resources to access Policies & Guidance, Publications, Related Sites, and Tools



The requirements for documentation of the systematic planning process are provided in the Uniform Federal Policy for Quality Assurance Project Plans Manual (UFP-QAPP Manual; EPA/505/B-04/900A). The UFP-QAPP was used as the basis for developing templates for the Department of the Navy (DON) Sampling and Analysis Plan (SAP). The DON SAP combines the elements of a UFP-compliant QAPP with the elements of a Field Sampling Plan (FSP).

The purpose of the QAPP portion of the SAP is to describe in comprehensive detail the necessary QA/QC and other technical activities that must be implemented to ensure that the results of the work performed will satisfy the stated performance criteria. The QAPP portion of the DON SAP integrates technical and QC aspects of a project throughout its lifecycle, including planning, implementation, assessment, and remedial action. The purpose of the FSP portion of the SAP is to detail a “plan of action” for the field sampling effort to ensure that proper sampling techniques are employed to obtain samples that retain their scientific integrity and are legally defensible.

In support of SAP development for chemical constituents, NAVFAC has a three-tiered approach as follows: 

  • Tier I SAP Template. The Tier I SAP Template contains all 37 worksheets and is recommended for most Site Inspection (SI) and Remedial Investigation (RI) efforts.

  • Tier II SAP Template. The Tier II SAP Template contains fewer worksheets and is recommended for smaller or less complex sites. The use of the Tier II SAP must be approved for use by the entire partnering team, as well as the Navy chemist or Quality Assurance Officer (QAO).

  • Management and Monitoring Approach. Lastly, NAVFAC has developed the Management and Monitoring Approach (MMA), which is intended for sites that are conducting Long-Term Monitoring (LTM) as part of a remedy component in the Record of Decision (ROD). Again, this approach needs to be approved by the entire Team, as well as the Navy chemist or QAO.


QA/QC programs for munitions response (MR) actions are also implemented through QAPPs and Quality Assessment Surveillance Plans (QASPs) that are tailored to the project needs. For MR projects utilizing Advanced Geophysical Classification (AGC), an AGC-QAPP template is available here. Other documents that support quality assessments at MR sites include the MR RI/FS QAPP toolkit, Munitions Response Quality Assessment Spreadsheet, NAVFAC's Statement of Work Template for Quality Assessment at a MRS, and Interstate Technology and Regulatory Council’s (ITRC’s) Quality Considerations for Munitions Response Projects.

For more information, Chapter 8.2 of the DON Environmental Restoration Program Manual reviews the systematic planning requirements for ERP projects. EPA’s Triad Approach and data quality objective (DQO) process are also examples of systematic planning efforts and are incorporated into the Navy’s overall ERP site management approach.




Title and Description

ERP Manual

DON Environmental Restoration Program Manual: Chapter 8.2 Systematic Planning (February 2018)

Details the systematic planning requirements for the ERP. In addition, Chapters 6.2 and 8.3 reviews the systematic planning requirements specific to the SI and RI phases, respectively.


DoD EDQW Statement on EPA Method 8327

Establishes the limitations of EPA Method 8327.

DENIX – Factsheet

DoD EDQW PFAS Sampling Fact Sheet (July 2017)

Provides guidance for materials and equipment to use when sampling for PFAS.

Quality Systems

Department of Defense (DoD) Quality Systems Manual (QSM)

Provides baseline requirements for the establishment and management of quality systems for laboratories performing analytical testing services for DoD.

Note: The DENIX EDQW Document Web page can be checked to confirm the latest versions of the applicable systematic planning documents. Laboratories should adhere to the version of the QSM in their accreditation letter.

Quality Systems

DoD Instruction 4715.15 Environmental Quality Systems (August 2018)

Establishes policy to incorporate environmental quality systems into DoD activities and programs

involving the collection, management, and use of environmental data.

Data Validation

DoD General Data Validation Guidelines (September 2019)

Provides guidance on the validation of environmental data generated in support of DoD projects, primarily from SW-846 methods.


NAVFAC Management and Monitoring Approach (MMA) ToolKit - Update (November 2015)

This addendum to the NAVFAC MMA document provides example report formats and shares streamlining ideas for conveying information in reports.


NAVFAC Management and Monitoring Approach (MMA) Toolkit (May 2012)

Provides a format for documenting the application of these principles with a focus on decision-focused data management, evaluation, and reporting.

Sampling and Analysis Plans Tiered Approach

NAVFAC Tiered Approach for Developing Sampling and Analysis Plans (June 2011)

Provides guidance for the use and development of SAPs using a tiered approach and employing a systematic planning process.

SAP-Tier 1

UFP-SAP Tier I Sampling and Analysis Plan Template (February 2011)

Enclosure 1 (one of two) to NAVFAC Tiered Approach for Developing Sampling and Analysis Plans.

SAP-Tier 2

UFP-SAP Tier 2 Sampling and Analysis Plan Template (February 2011)

Enclosure 2 (two of two) to NAVFAC Tiered Approach for Developing Sampling and Analysis Plans.


Uniform Federal Policy for Quality Assurance Project Plans (UFP-QAPP) Manual (March 2005)

Provides a common organizational framework and approach to QAPPs among government agencies.

Sampling and Testing Acquisition

DoD Policy and Guidelines for Acquisitions Involving Environmental Sampling or Testing Services (December 2007)

Provides proper procurement and administrative procedures for environmental sampling and testing contracts.


Title and Description


UFP-QAPP Munitions Response QAPP Toolkit Module 1: Remedial Investigation (RI)/Feasibility Study (FS) (April 2020)

Uses an example site to describe a phased process for implementing the RI/FS.


DoD-EPA Advanced Geophysical Classification for Munitions Response Quality Assurance Project Plan (AGC-QAPP) (March 2016)

Assists in planning for the investigation of buried MEC and documents the systematic planning process for in-situ detection and classification of MEC and other debris using AGC methods.

Quality Assessment Scope of Work

Statement of Work (SOW) Template for Quality Assessment at a Munitions Response Site, NAVFAC (July 2012)

Describes requirements for developing quality assessment procedures for all munitions response actions.


Title and Description


DoD Environmental Data Quality Workgroup (EDQW)


DoD EDQW Documents Web Page

Note: The DENIX EDQW Document Web page can be checked to confirm the latest versions of the applicable systematic planning documents. Laboratories should adhere to the version of the QSM in their accreditation letter.

DoD Laboratory Accreditation

DoD Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Program (DoD ELAP)


EPA Triad Approach


EPA Guidance on Systematic Planning Using the Data Quality Objectives Process


EPA National Functional Guidelines for Superfund (Organic, Inorganic) Methods Data Review


ITRC Quality Considerations for Multiple Aspects of Munitions Response Sites


Title and Description



DENIX Accredited Laboratories Search Tool

A Web page to perform queries of the DoD ELAP accredited laboratories database. Searching will return information on laboratories, fields and testing methods.

Sampling Plan 

Visual Sample Plan (VSP)

A software tool that supports the development of a defensible sampling plan based on statistical sampling theory and the statistical analysis of sample results to support confident decision making.

Quality Assessment 

NAVFAC Munitions Response Quality Assessment Spreadsheet (October 2021)                

A tool to assess the quality of contractor’s MR actions and to help to ensure that contractual requirements are met. The information includes a series of questions to ask throughout the performance of a project to help improve quality for both traditional MR projects and AGC projects. Supersedes the MR Quality Assessment Spreadsheet from August 2017. 

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