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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
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
Contractor / Funded Organisations
University - London - Birkbeck