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What is QA/QC and why does it matter?

PEARS data are used by federal, state, and local agencies for reporting and evaluation. To facilitate the availability of high-quality data in PEARS, the NPI PEARS team implements regularly scheduled quality assurance/quality control (QA/QC) and data cleaning processes.

How does PEARS QA/QC work?

Shortly after each quarter ends, NPI exports LHD PEARS data entered to date during the federal fiscal year (FFY), reviews the entries, and flags potential issues for review and correction (also known as QA/QC).

The PEARS modules reviewed for QA/QC are:

  • PSE Site Activities
  • Program Activities (DE)
  • Indirect Activities (IE)
  • Partnerships
  • Coalitions

All flagged issues for a LHD are contained in a “QA/QC Issue File”, which is a single Excel workbook organized into separate worksheets by PEARS module. Within each worksheet, the list of issues includes those flagged for all of the quarters to date, with the quarter noted in the second column. LHDs can access their QA/QC Issue Files in their LHD's NPI LHD Evaluation OneDrive folder.  

In place of flagged issues, LHDs may see one of these messages:

  • No issues flagged: we reviewed your entries for this module and found no issues
  • No entries found: your LHD has no entries for this module as of the date of our export
  • No review this quarter: entries for this module were not reviewed during the quarter

NPI follows this approximate annual timeline for QA/QC:


PEARS Data Exported

Issue Files Released/Updated

1 (10/1 - 12/31)

First week of January

January 31

2 (1/1 - 3/31)

First week of April

April 30

3 (4/1 - 6/30)

First week of July

July 31

4 (7/1 - 9/30)


September 30

4 (2nd review as needed)

October 1

Early October, on a rolling basis*

*For this review cycle, NPI staff typically contact LHDs directly rather than updating online issue files.

In addition to these QA/QC reviews, the NPI team conducts annual data cleaning for any issues that remain unresolved at the end of the PEARS reporting year. This occurs during a brief window in October, after PEARS has closed for data entry. LHDs should be prepared to respond promptly to emails from NPI staff during our final review and data cleaning in October.

Questions? Need help with QA/QC?

Please contact the NPI PEARS team with any questions about QA/QC Issue Files or the QA/QC process. We’ve also created brief Mastering PEARS video tutorials to help you better understand how to resolve some of the most commonly flagged issues.