Various safeguards have been built into COGEM’s working methods and procedures to ensure its scientific quality.
First of all COGEM strives to have the best as possible scientist in its ranks. Furthermore, COGEM publications are based on the scientific literature and the expert judgement of its members. This is specifically mentioned in its advisory reports and topic reports.
The secretariat oversees the drafting of reports for consistency and where necessary substantiates or verifies the expert judgement of the members with information from the scientific literature. As an internal quality control one of the other staff members plays a ‘buddy’ role in the secretariat for the preparation of draft texts.
A dossier is kept of every advice or topic reports, including all the comments made by the members. A cover page is present in every dossier, listing a number of checkpoints concerning amongst others the scientific underpinning with publications or expert opinions.
Before advisory or topic reports are published, all the members are asked to read and comment on them.
The secretary and chair of COGEM also review all draft advisory and topic reports. Moreover, the members of the board are expected to give their opinion on all advices and topic reports, including those which are not in their field of expertise. If they are not able to respond within the set time limits, their comments will be considered in view of later advices or reports. Finally, a procedure has been put in place for dealing with minority opinions, which can be included in the advice if they are based on scientific arguments.