Proficiency Testing and Interlaboratory Comparisons

External Quality Assurance - Proficiency Testing and Interlaboratory Comparisons

The NAB-MALTA considers the participation of testing and/or calibration laboratories and inspection bodies in external PT/ILC as an important mechanism for monitoring the integrity of test and calibration results. It is a policy of the NAB-MALTA that all accredited laboratories participate in such schemes, where these are available and relevant to the scope of accreditation. The NAB-MALTA policy on Proficiency Testing and Interlaboratory comparisons is set in document ATG10​. ​
It is the laboratories responsibility to select the most appropriate scheme and to check and evaluate the quality of the PT provider.
ISO/IEC 17043:2010 specifies the general requirements for the competence of providers of proficiency testing schemes and for the development and operation of proficiency testing schemes. These requirements are intended to be general for all types of proficiency testing schemes and they can be used as a basis for specific technical requirements for particular fields of application.
Participation in Proficiency Testing (PT) is an important part of assuring the quality of test results in a laboratory. The time and effort required can be costly, especially for laboratories performing many different tests, so selecting the most appropriate PT scheme is very important. For further guidance on how to choose the right proficiency scheme kindly visit the information documents page by clicking here​

General Links ​
PT Provider 
European Information System on Proficiency Testing Schemes (EPTIS)

EPTIS is a database of proficiency testing schemes in various technical sectors.
IMEP The International Measurement Evaluation Programme
IMEP provides certified reference values with demonstrated traceability for chemical measurements. IMEP interlaboratory comparisons focus on chemical measurements in matrices such as sediment, rice, wine, water, fish, human serum and fuel.

Centre for Intercomparisons
​CFI, a centre for intercomparisons (proficiency testing), has been developed for the purpose to assist calibration and testing laboratories to secure their measurement claims according to EN ISO/IEC 17025. CFI works over a wide area of different measurement quantities, instruments and accuracy levels.
VSL Dutch Metrology Institute ​VSL participates in key comparisons with national metrology institutes throughout the world.  VSL is accredited (RvA R006) for organizing interlaboratory comparisons in a range of fields (pressure, mass, temperature, moisture and chemical analyses.) VSL also organizes interlaboratory comparisons in the field of electricity.

Chemistry, Microbiology & Environmental

PT Provider ​
​FAPAS is a world renowned accredited proficiency testing provider. FAPAS publish an annual programme of proficiency tests, some of which include: food and beverage microbiology, GM foods, water and environmental chemistry and water and environmental microbiology. FAPAS also offer quality control samples and reference materials. 
LGC’s Proficiency Testing Scheme mainly focuses on chemistry, food, beverages and environmental tests but also includes other sectors. LGC Standards is a UKAS accredited international provider of proficiency testing (PT) services.
The independent IIS organises global interlaboratory studies on fuels, petroleum products, petrochemicals and consumer products. Studies are usually performed on commercially relevant products and involve testing on complete specifications. Any laboratory may participate using its own routine analytical methods.​
​IFA is part of the national monitoring programme on ground and surface water quality in Austria and covers schemes for the determination of ions, trace metals and micro pollutants in water.
INERIS ​INERIS organises Proficiency Testing Scheme for analysis of samples coming from stationary source emissions. The special feature of these tests is that they focus on samples, very close to true emission matrices. 
DRRR GmbH​ ​​The DRRR GmbH is an accredited PT provider according to EN ISO/IEC 17043:2010. Their main fields for the organization of PT programs are food stuffs, animal stuffs, commodities and plastics as well as rubber.
BIPEA​ BIP​EA is a European non-profit organisation​ loctaed in France. It offers more than 150 regular proficiency testing programs. BIPEA is accredited by COFRAC according to EN ISO/IEC 17043. Their main fields for the organization of PT programs are food stuffs, waters, feed, cosmetics, drinks, soils (fertilizers), grains, flavors (fragrances), GMO-DNA, air and milling.
Sigma-Aldrich​ ​Sigma-Aldrich RTC is ISO/ICE 17043 accredited and has many years of experience in developing and producing natural matrix samples for use as PT samples. RTC's evironmental PT programs cover pesticides in drinking water, waste water and soils.
EffecTech​ ​EffecTech is ISO/IEC 17043 accredited proficiency testing scheme provider. The PT programs offered by EffecTech include Global Gas and LNG, Stack Emissions. Additionally, EffecTech provide on-demand proficiency testing schemes to suit individual customer requirements.​

Construction and Mechanical

PT Provider 
Cement and Concrete Reference Laboratory
CCRL performs proficiency sampling programs for portland cement, blended cement, masonry cement, portland cement concrete, pozzolan, and masonry materials (mortar and solid units).
Vereinigung der österreichischen Zementindustrie specialise in the cement and concrete industry. They should be contacted by email. The email address is available from their site or on office@voezfi.atgsinsti
EMPA should be contacted by email. The email address is available from their site.
L C Technical Services ​L C Technical provides replicate test samples for inter-laboratory testing (proficiency schemes) to assist construction material laboratories. 
IFEP ​IFEP is an ISO/IEC 17043 accredited PT provider. The proficiency testing schemes are mainly in the field of mechnical-technological material testing, metallography and related fields.


PT Provider 
EQUALIS (Clinical Tests)
EQUALIS is a non-profit limited company, jointly owned by The Federation of County Councils, The Swedish Society of Medicine, and The Swedish Institute of Biomedical Laboratory Science. EQUALIS is an accredited organization and currently offers schemes in various medical sectors. 
Labquality (English)
Labquality is a non-profit organisation owned by Finnish hospitals and associations and it offers External Quality Assessment Programmes in the following sectors: Andrology, Cardiac physiology, Clinical chemistry, Genetics, Haematology, Immunology, Microbiology, Virology, Pathology, Point-of-care tests, and Veterinary medicine.
UK NEQAS provides  external quality assessment schemes in laboratory medicine. The services cover qualitative and interpretative investigations in andrology, cellular pathology, clinical chemistry, genetics, haematology, immunology and microbiology.
VETQAS - Veterinary Laboratory Services ​VLA’s Quality Assurance Unit (QAU) provides proficiency testing for veterinary laboratories, It is an accredited proficiency testing provider.
Randox Laboratories - RIQAS EQA
​RIQAS is accredited to a number of internationally recognised standards. 
ECAT Foundation​ ​​​The ECAT Foundation is a non-profit organisation with the objective to provide an international external quality assessment programme  (EQAP) for laboratories working in the field of haemostasis and thrombosis. 
DEKS (Clinical Tests)​​ ​Danish Institute of External Quality Assurance for Laboratories in Health Care, DEKS, is an ISO/IEC 17043 accredited non-profit organization owned by the Copenhagen County on behalf of all other counties in Denmark.  DEKS is presently serving clinical biochemistry, clinical immunology, clinical microbiology, molecular biology and genetics, pathology, forensic medicine and general practitioners.
European Molecular Quality Network​ ​​EMQN is a not-for-profit organisation promoting quality in molecular genetic testing through the provision of external quality assessment (proficiency testing schemes) and the organisation of best practice meetings and publication of guidelines.

Note: The NAB-MALTA is in no way affiliated to any PT providers and does take any responsibility for the quality of the PT schemes offered by these providers.​