Frequently Asked Questions
The frequency of participations depends on various factors specific to each laboratory, as it does with others aspects of quality. The number of samples tested and the risk associated with the tests are very important aspects to be considered. Consequently, each laboratory should establish its own frequency of participation. Different organizations involved in quality control in laboratories publish guidelines about frequency of participation, such as in the documents “EA-2/10. EA Policy for Participation in National and International Proficiency Testing Activities” and “EA-4/18 TA. Guidance on the level and frequency of proficiency testing participation“ of EA (European co-operation for Accreditation) or in EURACHEM Guide “Selection, use and interpretation of proficiency testing schemes”.
In our PTs Catalogue dates are available for our participants to check. Therefore all samples are sent on Monday for each of our PTs.
Throught the samples preparation process we undertake stability, homogeneity and conservation studies in order to guarantee that samples will remain at an optimum state throught sufficient time. In some cases as Microbiology PT, samples may be analised within the first week after shipping date, however we strongly advise to analise them as soon as they reach you. On the other hand, Physico-Chemical PTs may be analized within the period the test lasts(15 working days).
Samples are sent through express courier.
Clear and detailed instructions of how to handle each of the containers will be emailed and available to be downloaded for the participants some days before the scheme is opened (date of samples dispatch).
ielab has designed its PTS in order to simplify samples usage, making it an easy and quick process. In some schemes, we also include a graphic Rapid User’s Guide in order to make it easier. This information is also available to be downloaded some days before the scheme is opened.
Deadline of each scheme is specified in the instructions given, besides all details are also available on our website. Generally, the deadline to report results is about 18 working days after samples are dispatched. Please take into account that after the deadline it will not be possible to admit any results.
The best and easiest way to do it is through our website. By this way the confidentiality and agility on the data transfer is assured. You should log in with your user and password and then access to “Results submission”. You can also do it by fax. For this you should request it at your registration and with the samples you will receive a bulletin for this purpose (please see the surcharges on the price for this kind of service).
No. Each participant can analyze the parameters he/she considers, specifying all three replicas indicated in the bulletin when reporting.
Each participant has to log in with provided username and password, and go to “Open PT/Results Key in”. After this, select participating scheme and round, and introduce results in the displayed form.
No. Each participant can analize desired parameters, specifying all three replicas indicated in the bulletin.
Participants must analyze the PTS samples performing the method they usually use for analyzing routine samples.
It is important for participants to report the method used and the technical specifications as we often also assess the results in relation to the methods used.
The materials used in the Proficiency Testing Schemes are shipped according with all the legal requirements and transport conditions to preserve their contents.
Samples are sent through express courier. In some countries, we recommend participants to gather information in advance about the import documents or taxes that may be needed.
You should log in with your user and password and then access to “Results submission”. Once there, choose your scheme and round (a drop down list will appear if you are registered into various schemes and they are taking place at that time). A bulletin to be filled in will be displayed.
Decimal numbers must be typed in according to the settings of each participant’s computer. Decimal numbers must be introduced according to each participant computer configuration.
Please click on the “save” button that you will find at the bottom of the page. An automatic confirmation e-mail will be sent to you with a summary of your data.
Once results are saved they are available on line re-entering and following the same route. Results may be rectified at any time within each PTs timetable, however you must always save them, and wait the automatic mailing, otherwise they will remain as last time you did save them. Results are available at any moment within PTs schedlude as specified in the intructions. Once reached deadline, the website will be automatically blocked, and results automatically donwloaded to our data base.
ielab as ENAC acredited PTs provider according to ISO 17043:2010 standard, fulfill all requirements especified in the ISO 13528 standard “Statistical methods for use in proficiency testing by interlaboratory comparisons”, and also according with IUPAC protocol “The international Harmonized Protocol for the Proficiency Testing of Analytical Chemistry Laboratories”. Results are assessed under a wide statistical robust study in order to gain a consensus value.
Reports made by ielab are sent to all participants in PDF format. They include two parts, first part is relative to all samples preparation and homogeneity and stability studies, values of standard deviation; and secondly, a statistical study developed for each of the parameters studied.
Results report is sent to all participants by mail in PDF. format in 15 working days after the closing date of each round. It may be required a hard copy with 30 € extra fee per round, and it will be sent by registered mail, and also by fax and mail.
Results report delivery time is established within 15 working days after the PTs closing date.
If you have any doubt about a result, you can communicate with us and ielab will give you the most appropriate answer to your circumstances.
ielab guarantees results confidentiality to all participants. Each one of ielab participants has a 4-digit code automatically assigned when signing. This 4-digit code may be changed as desired. The results report only mentions this 4-digit code, therefore avoiding in any case the name of the participant.
PTS management is based on the norm ISO 17043. Norms ISO 13528 (statistical data management) and IUPAC´s protocol are also important.