Quality assurance is an important issue for every laboratory. If you want to ensure that your laboratory produces accurate and precise results, prociency testing is an indispensable measure. Here’s what you ought to know about prociency tests. Anyone who carries out food analyses needs to know that the obtained results are correct.
There are many factors which can inuence the quality of the analysis: the used test method, the laboratory procedures, the sta’s method of operation and the laboratory equipment are just a few of the inuencing factors. In order to ensure that the test results obtained by the laboratory are valid, quality assurance is mandatory and so are prociency tests, since they evaluate the actual analytical performance of a laboratory.
WHAT IS PROFICIENCY TESTING?
Prociency testing determines the performance of individual laboratories for specic tests or measurements and is used to monitor laboratories’ continuing performance. Prociency testing is also called inter-laboratory comparison. As this term implies, prociency testing compares the measuring results obtained by dierent laboratories. Each laboratory measures the artifacts according to a given set of instructions and reports its results to the administrator.
Prociency testing (PT) oers a highly eective way for laboratories to check how they are performing. In fact, participating in a robust prociency testing scheme not only gives laboratory managers condence in their laboratory equipment, methodologies and laboratory sta, but also provides assurance that the laboratory is delivering the quality of results demanded by its customers. Indeed, the ability to prove to customers that your laboratory has quality systems in place and a commitment to providing accurate, reliable results is an important part of building long-term relationships as well as securing future business.
WHY DOES MY LABORATORY NEED A PROFICIENCY TESTING PLAN?
Regardless of the standard that the testing laboratory’s quality system is based upon, prociency testing is an excellent way to validate one’s measurement processes. Prociency tests can validate the participating laboratory’s measurement method, technical training, traceability of standards, and uncertainty budgets. Even though the laboratory has been most rigorous in developing the aforementioned laboratory processes, it is important to use prociency testing as an additional
way to verify that all aspects of the laboratory measurement system are
THE BENEFITS OF PROFICIENCY TESTING:
-Comparison of a facility’s performance with that of other participating (peer) facilities
-Improvement in the performance of tests/calibrations following investigation and identication of the cause(s) of unsatisfactory PT performance, and the introduction of corrective action to prevent reoccurrence
-Sta education, training and competence monitoring
-Contribution to the facility’s overall risk management system
-Condence building with interested parties, e.g. customers, accreditation bodies, regulators e.t.
BMC LABORATORIES PERFORMANCE:
BMC Laboratories participate in various prociency testing schemes around the world. Below is a list of the PT schemes and the matrix covered by various schemes. American Prociency Institute
The American Prociency Institute (API) is one of the largest prociency testing providers in the world serving over 18,000 laboratories. API oers innovative solutions and technical excellence for the prociency testing needs of dierent elds including food. BMC participated both in chemical and microbiological schemes namely;
-Food Microbiology scheme
-Food Chemistry scheme
PUBLIC HEALTH ENGLAND
-European Food Microbiology legislation (based on EC 2073/2005)
-Bottled and mineral water scheme
-Drinking water scheme
-Environmental swabs scheme
FAPAS is one of the trusted PT provider since 1990, accredited to ISO 17043 and oering the widest range of analyte/matrix combinations for the food sector.
-Proximate – Food Chemistry
National Quality Control Sample Exchange Scheme (BOBS)
BOBS has quality control or assurance schemes to monitor and improve the reliability of data originating from local and regional laboratories. BMC laboratories are participating in the following schemes;
-Food and water microbiology
BMC laboratories PT performance score has been consistently excellent for all the PT schemes indicating the laboratories’ results are comparable locally, regionally and around the world and as such we assure accuracy and reliability of results generated by BMC Laboratory Services.