Methods: With a focus on annual inter-laboratory comparison (ILC) exercises performed in the context of the French coastal monitoring SOMLIT network, we share here a pragmatic approach to QC, which allows the calculation of systematic and random errors, measurement uncertainty, and individual performance. After an overview of the different QC actions applied to fulfill requirements for quality and competence, we report equipment, accommodation, design of the ILC exercises, and statistical methodology specially adapted to small environmental networks (<20 laboratories) and multivariate datasets. Finally, the expanded uncertainty of measurement for 20 environmental variables routinely measured by SOMLIT from discrete sampling—including Essential Ocean Variables—is provided.
Results, Discussion, Conclusion: The examination of the temporal variations (2001–2021) in the repeatability, reproducibility, and trueness of the SOMLIT network over time confirms the essential role of ILC exercises as a tool for the continuous improvement of data quality in environmental monitoring datasets.
- Environmental monitoring network
- Data quality control
- Inter-laboratory comparison exercises
- Measurement uncertainty
- Analyst performance
- Multivariate dataset