Sporecyte Blog

A Guide to the Sporecyte Chain of Custody Form

The Chain of Custody (COC) form is a crucial step in the Sporecyte service process, especially for home inspectors utilizing our service. It’s essential that this form is fully completed in order to process the samples we receive. We know it’s a detailed document with several fields to fill out. That’s why, in this blog, we’ll guide you through each section, explaining what information is needed and why it’s crucial.

Before we delve into the specifics, here’s a bit of background: a COC form must be completed and included with any samples you send to Sporecyte for analysis. If you want multiple samples reported together, ensure they are listed on the same COC form. If a shipment contains samples from different projects, complete a separate COC form for each project. It is also helpful if you’re sending multiple samples from different projects in one shipment to separate them somehow. Some customers will use plastic bags. 

And don’t forget, it’s a good practice to keep a copy or photo of the completed COC form for your records before sending it over.

Inspector Information This section is used to identify the company and inspector that sent in the samples. We use this information to make sure we send the report to the right company and inspector. 

This is where you identify where you’d like the report to be sent to. Fill this entire section out even if you’ve sent us samples before. We have hundreds of inspectors who send us samples, and as much as we’d like to be on a first-name basis with everyone that just isn’t possible.

Billing Information We use this section to identify who to bill for the job. 

If the information in this section is the same as the Inspector Information, good news, you don’t need to complete the Billing Information section!

To help the process run smoothly please make sure you have an account with Sporecyte with an updated payment method

If you are billing a corporate account, supervisor, etc. make sure that the appropriate billing information is filled.

Subject Property Information This section is where you can enter details about the project. These fields will appear on the front page of your report, so make sure you use something that is identifiable such as a client’s name, project number, etc. in the “Project Name” field.

An important section here that can be easily overlooked is the ‘Sampled By” fields. In order to accurately report on who did the sampling on the report, make sure you don’t overlook this section!

Turn around time is also located in this section, you can specify if you need the results back the same day we receive them (for an additional charge), or if you are okay with standard turn around time. Please note, that if you do not mark an option in this field, your project will be processed with standard turn around time. 

Sample Information In this section, you need to write down information for every sample you send in. 

The “sample description” field is the name that the sample will be referred to on your report, so make sure you make it easily identifiable to your client.

Don’t used vague labels like “room 1”, “test 1”, “or upstairs”, or overly descriptive labels that are very long like “Northeast bedroom next to the window on the northern exposure of the East wing”.

Make sure you complete the sample type, and the time and flow rate if you submit an air sample. Most air cassettes should be collected at 15 LPM, for 5 minutes. These fields do not need to be filled in for surface samples.

And remember, all project with air samples must be accompanied by at least one outdoor sample. 

Custody Information This section is where the term “Chain of Custody” comes into play. This is how we track who releases the samples and who receives them, as well as all the important information about this process.

If you send us your COC digitally and would like any assistance in tracking your package it is particularly important to include the carrier and tracking number.

We are able to track the transfer of samples with the two sections titled “# of samples in shipment” and “relinquished by”. The first series of these sections is for the person who took the actual samples. Then if someone other than the inspector shipped the samples to Sporecyte, they fill out the second section. 

Make sure you triple-check that the number of samples in the Sample Information section matches the “# of Samples in Shipment” field, as well as the number of physical samples you have in the shipment! 

The rest of this section is for the lab. 

Before you pack up the samples for shipment to the lab, make sure you review the entire COC, and sign/date the “relinquished by” field. It is also a wise tip to snap a photo of the COC for your records. 

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