An approach is presented for the performance control of -ray spectrometers allowing for the identification of sources of malfunctioning. The traditional check consists of inspection of the FWHM of the peaks of the control source, their peak positions and areas followed by an energy calibration. The resolution and shape of a peak in the spectrum originating from an applied pulse generator are more responsive to the electronic noise than the -ray peaks. At the laboratory for INAA in Delft, the traditional energy calibration has been replaced by a spectrometer performance control which complements the traditional method by (1) an analysis of the shape of the pulser peak, (2) an inspection of the low energy and high energy tails of the peaks, (3) specification of quantified criteria for approval of the performance, (4) generation of control charts for visual inspection of the parameters determined and (5) extensive documentation of all operational characteristics for eventual correlations. This paper demonstrates how this approach to SPC enables to identify sources which cause malfunctioning of the spectrometer.