Proficiency testing is an inter-laboratory study to determine the performance of individual laboratories for specific tests and to monitor laboratories’ continuing performance. GD offers laboratories the possibility to participate in international proficiency testing schemes.
There are many good reasons to participate in proficiency testing schemes:
- Evaluating the performance of the laboratory
- Maintaining/achieving accreditation to ISO 17025
- Providing additional confidence
- Identifying inter-laboratory differences
- Identifying problems
How does it work?
Proficiency testing schemes (PTS) are based on defined sets of highly characterised test materials. These sets are simultaneously sent to participating laboratories for analysis. The test results are collected and analysed against the results of all participants and the intended result in order to determine the capability of a participating laboratory to conduct a diagnostic test and produce correct results. The PTS process contains the following steps:
- Application – you can apply for a PTS via this online application form. If you have previously participated in a PTS, you will also receive a personalised invitation via email.
- Samples – you will receive a set of coded samples and details about sample volumes, together with instructions on storage and how to report your results.
- Analysis – the samples should be tested under normal routine test conditions. The sample volumes will be sufficient to perform the required tests in duplicate.
- Reporting your findings – you will receive an email with a personalised link to the online results form. You will also receive a login and password to enter the form and report your results online.
- Statistical analysis – within a PTS, the precision and accuracy are calculated; i.e. inter-lab reproducibility as well as intra-lab reproducibility (at a minimum of 6 participants using the same test kit). Not applicable for PTS Bacteriology.
- Final report and certificate – after participating in a PTS you will receive a final report via email stating your coded results as compared to the other participants and a certificate stating your participation in the PTS.
- Confidentiality – you will be provided with a unique and confidential code. All results will be reported using this code, so you can easily verify your results and discreetly compare them to others.
For the organisation of most of the proficiency schemes for antibody detection and molecular biology (registration number R016 Prof. Testing) GD has been accredited according to NEN-EN-ISO/IEC 17043:2010.
Various aspects of the proficiency testing scheme can from time to time be subcontracted. When subcontracting occurs, it is placed with a competent subcontractor and the proficiency testing provider is responsible for this work.