Proficiency testing is the establishment of the calibration or testing performance of a laboratory.
It also refers to an inspection body’s testing performance against pre-determined criteria using interlaboratory comparison.
Hence, proficiency testing is one of the most dominant ways of checking the validity of the test and/or calibration results.
The Goals of Proficiency Testing
- To provide laboratories with support and information in improving the quality of their testing and/or measurements.
- To give laboratories an unbiased method of demonstrating and evaluating the reliability of their data.
- To add an external evaluation of the testing/calibration capabilities of laboratories.
- To boost laboratories’ internal quality controlling processes.
To guarantee the creation of genuine test/calibration data, laboratories may use an appropriate Quality Management System (QMS).
why Proficiency Testing Matters in ISO 17025
All ISO 17025 accredited testing and calibration laboratories are obliged to take part in proficiency testing programmes managed either by ISO 17025-appointed nodal organisations or by ISO 17025 itself.
Furthermore, ISO/IEC 17025 has set the requirements for a quality system’s maintenance in testing and calibration laboratories.
Therefore, testing and calibration laboratories use ISO 17025 to develop and implement their QMS.
On the other hand, accreditation bodies utilise this standard to gauge testing and calibration laboratories for accreditation.
How to Fulfill the Requirements?
ISO 17025 organises proficiency testing programmes for both its accredited and applicant laboratories. The programmes are run through nodal laboratories identified by ISO 17025.
For example, meeting the APLAC MR001 requirements means all accrediting bodies are required to embark on PT programmes for its accredited laboratories.
Meanwhile, all applicant laboratories must successfully join at least one Interlaboratory Proficiency Testing in line with ISO/IEC Guide-43 (I)- 1996.
Having said that, all substitute methods covered in ISO/IEC Guide-43 must be satisfactory.
But for calibration laboratories, measurements audits should be deemed as a corresponding effort to Interlaboratory Proficiency Testing.
Likewise, technical assessors for calibration laboratories will obtain artifacts with their characterisation by National Physical Laboratory or any other NMI’s who are signatories to BIPM.
What’s the Next Step?
Proficiency testing is a powerful way of checking the validity of the test and/or calibration results of your laboratory.
Thus, it’s crucial that your business has prepared for this phase.
Gain an advantage by using toolkits from QSE Academy. Our packages are designed for laboratories who want to undergo ISO 17025 accreditation.