Provision of EAC PT

The EAC Regional Standards Office has been given a mandate to organize Proficiency Testing (PT) Schemes as part of the EAC SQMT improvement. In the EAC region, the EAC PT Scheme is an annual activity, currently with one PT round covering many matrices in the scheme.

What is Profiency testing (PT)? According to ISO/IEC 17043, PT is an evaluation of participant performance against pre-established criteria by means of inter-laboratory comparisons. PT is one of the analytical tools that laboratories use to benchmark with peers and also demonstrate their competences.

PT participation provides a quality assurance tool to laboratories and take necessary remedial action to facilitate improvement, with an aim of producing accurate and reliable test results.

The Following PT schemes are provided at EAC level:

  • Edible vegetal oil

  • Edible common salt

  • Wheat flour

  • Maize flour

  • Fruit juice

  • Sugar

  • Honey

  • Skim milk powder

  • UHT milk

  • Meat and fish

  • Skin cosmetic lotion

  • Black tea

  • Fertilizer

  • Animal feeds

  • Gin

  • Laundry soap

PT schemes organized by Rwanda Standards Board:

  • Sugar

  • Skin cosmetic lotion

  • Laundry soap

Benefits of participation in PT schemes

Many laboratories operate in isolation from other laboratories and do not have ongoing opportunities to compare their data with others. Without such opportunities there are risks that a laboratory’s data may have errors, biases or significant differences compared to similar laboratories.

The following are benefits of PT

  • Confirming competent performance of laboratory personnel

  • Identifying testing or measurement problems

  • Comparing methods and procedures

  • Improving performance

  • Educating staff

  • Installing confidence in staff, management and external users of laboratory services

  • Comparing operator capabilities

  • Generating reference materials

  • Determining method precision and accuracy

  • Satisfying regulators and accreditation bodies

  • Providing laboratories with additional risk management.

Additional information can be accessed from the EAC SQMT website and then click on Testing, or from the websites of the respective PT providers indicated above.

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