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Estimation of the effect of frequency of proficiency testing on the performance of laboratories. - FS2911

The purpose of the proposal is to ascertain whether the frequency of rounds in a proficiency test affects the efficacy of the scheme in improving the competence of the participants. This knowledge will help scheme organisers to optimise proficiency tests for cost-effectiveness. It is now internationally and nationally accepted that one of the measures that a laboratory must implement to ensure that its data is fit for purpose is to participate in proficiency testing schemes. For the UK this will become a formal requirement as a result of the adoption of the EC Additional Measures Food Control Directive. It is also internationally and nationally accepted that such proficiency testing schemes must, in the food analysis area, comply with the requirements of the Internationally (AOAC/ISO/IUPAC) Harmonised Protocol on Proficiency Testing. For UK food analysts it is expected that they will participate in the MAFF FAPAS which has been designed to to conform with the requirements of the International Protocol. The Protocol specifies a time range for the distribution of similar materials (FAPAS Series) (i.e. between 2 weeks and four months). That range was derived as a result of practical considerations rather than being based on any objective knowledge. The objective of this project is to test the effect of changing the frequency of distribution to a number of volunteer participants in FAPAS. The performance of that experimental group will be monitored and compared with a control group to assess the effect of more frequenty distributions of test material. Recommendations will be made in the light of the results obtained from the project.
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 1995

To: 1997

Cost: £156,060
Contractor / Funded Organisations
University - London - Birkbeck