What is PT
Whether you are meeting your accreditation requirements or working to improve your performance, participation in proficiency testing is a valuable continuous improvement tool.
What Is Proficiency Testing?
Proficiency testing involves a group of laboratories or analysts performing the same analyses on the same samples and comparing results. The key requirements of such comparisons are that the samples are homogenous and stable, and also that the set of samples analyzed are appropriate to test and display similarities and differences in results.
Proficiency Testing (comparative testing) is an important way of meeting the requirements of ISO 15189, ISO/IEC 17025 in the area of quality assurance of laboratory results. It is also mandated by accreditation bodies that laboratories participate in proficiency testing programs for all types of analyses undertaken in that laboratory, when suitable programs exist.
Benefits of Proficiency Tests to Individual Laboratories
- The participating laboratory is provided with a regular, independent and external assessment of its performance
- The laboratory can use PT results to identify problems in operations, and initiate remedial actions if necessary
- The laboratory has a means of demonstrating its data quality to third parties, e.g. customers, regulatory agencies or organizations providing recognition.
- The laboratory is able to regularly compare its performance with that of peer laboratories.
- If the test method is specified, the study can provide information on the performance characteristics of analytical methods.
- The laboratory can have, in the coordinating organization, a source of technical advice and guidance on analytical problem.
- PT schemes can be used to assign values to reference materials
- PT scheme results can be used as a traceability link.