Inter laboratory comparisons are widely used for a number of purposes and their use is increasingly internationally. Purposes for inter laboratory comparisons include: –
- Evaluation of performance of laboratories for specific tests or measurements and monitoring laboratory’s continuing performance;
- Identification of problems in laboratories and imitation of actions for improvement which, for example, may be related to inadequate test or measurement procedures, effectiveness of staff training and supervision;
- Establishment of the effectiveness and comparability of test or measurement methods
- Provision of additional confidence to laboratory customers;
- Identification of inter laboratory differences;
- Education of participating laboratories based on the outcomes of such comparisons;
- Validation of uncertainty claims;
- Evaluation of the performance characteristics of a method;
- Assignment of values to reference materials and assessment of their suitability for use in specific test or measurement procedures;
- Support for statements of the equivalence of measurements of national metrology institutes through “key comparisons” and supplementary comparisons conducted on behalf of the internationally bureau of weights and measurement (BIPM) and associated regional metrology organizations.
The need for ongoing confidence in laboratory performance is not only essential for laboratories and their customers but also for other interested parties such as regulators, laboratory accreditation bodies, and other organizations that specify requirements for laboratories.
All Medical, Veterinary, Pharmaceutical and General testing & calibration laboratory are required to participate in recognized/ accredited proficiency testing where applicable or possible.