LGC AXIO Proficiency Testing 2023 - Water & Environmental S…

About AXIO Proficiency Testing

Which international standards are relevant to LGC AXIO Proficiency Testing schemes? In terms of stipulating the use of proficiency testing, the main standards are ISO/IEC 17025 - General requirements for the competence of testing and calibration laboratories; and the clinical standard ISO 15189 - Medical laboratories – requirements for quality and competence. All our PT schemes are operated in accordance with the international standard ISO/ IEC 17043. The statistical analysis undertaken is in accordance with the international standard ISO 13528. LGC is accredited by the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) for the provision of proficiency testing schemes against ISO/IEC 17043; a copy of our current scope of accreditation which lists the accredited schemes is available on our website: lgcstandards.com How are your PT schemes organised? The day-to-day operation of each PT scheme is the responsibility of LGC. Individual schemes are managed by a team of Scheme Coordinators, to cover reporting, customer service and technical functions. For some schemes, external advisors may also be used to provide the full range of relevant knowledge and expertise needed to operate the scheme effectively. A small number of schemes are run in collaboration with other organisations. Do you use Advisors and Advisory Groups? Yes, depending upon the PT scheme in question. Advisors are selected on the basis of their technical knowledge and experience of the industry to which the scheme is related. Advisors may be used on an ad-hoc basis and contacted when specific issues need to be addressed. Alternatively, formal Advisory Groups may be used. Advisory Groups consist of members who may or may not be participants on the scheme but who are experienced in the field of testing covered by the PT scheme. The composition and terms of reference of each Advisory Group will be agreed on a scheme-by- scheme basis. Do you run PT schemes that are jointly managed? Yes, some PT schemes are operated jointly with a partner organisation. Where schemes are operated jointly, a Management Committee may be set up to address operational issues for the scheme.

What are the fees for participation? Fees for participation are reviewed annually and the current fees for each PT scheme are available on application. Payment terms are detailed on the application form and invoice. Participants are advised that delays with payments may result in test materials and/or reports being withheld until payments are made. Where do you source your PT test materials? The vast majority of test materials are manufactured by LGC. Where this is not possible, test materials are carefully sourced to meet the needs of participants. Wherever practical, test materials will be as similar as possible to those samples routinely tested by participating laboratories. However, in some cases, in order to achieve the required degree of homogeneity and stability, test materials may be in the form of simulated matrices or concentrated spiking solutions. The analyte concentration range of test materials will usually be varied from round to round in order to be realistic and challenging. Details of individual test material types are available in the relevant scheme description. How is PT test material stability affected by time, distance and temperature? The test materials are all stable at the stated storage temperatures for at least the period of the PT scheme round. Studies have shown there is no significant difference between results of test materials tested the day after despatch and those tested on the deadline date. There is also no evidence that results are influenced by different climatic conditions of participating countries. Distance travelled does not affect test material results. We have undertaken studies on a number of our PT test materials comparing the average result according to distance travelled, and no correlations have been found. Stability consideration is an important part of the design and feasibility process for a PT scheme, where transport conditions such as temperature, humidity, pressure, exposure to x-rays etc are taken into account.



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