Eurachem Blog

Proficiency Testing and Accreditation

and development goal schematic

In 2022 we celebrate World Accreditation Day on June 9th, with this year’s theme of “Accreditation: Sustainability in Economic Growth and the Environment”. This theme focuses on how accreditation supports the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 6, 7, 8, 9, 11, 12, 13, 14, and 15.

To meet a number of these goals, accurate and reliable measurements are required in order to make sound informed decisions. This is particularly relevant for the goal (No 6) on ‘Clean Water and Sanitation’ which amongst its aims is to improve water quality by reducing pollution and reducing the amount of untreated wastewater. Accreditation, as the highest level of reliability in the assessment of a laboratory’s quality infrastructure, is crucial to ensure that the measurements being made to support these goals are fit for purpose. A key requirement for a laboratory to be accredited to the international competency standard for testing and calibration laboratories, ISO/IEC 17025, is for the laboratory to demonstrate the validity of their results by comparison with other laboratories through participation in proficiency testing (PT). Participation in PT provides the infrastructure for a laboratory to monitor and improve the quality of its routine measurements. It provides the laboratory with a framework for obtaining a regular external and independent assessment of their performance.

Eurachem, through the work of its various working groups, aims to establish a system for the metrological traceability of analytical measurements and to promote best practice in quality assurance in analytical laboratories. Through this work, Eurachem very much supports accreditation activities. Through its PT working group, Eurachem undertakes a number of activities to promote best practice in proficiency testing. Such activities include:

Other activities aimed at developing guidelines and policy papers are undertaken through Eurachem’s involvement in the joint stakeholder working group, ‘Proficiency Testing in Accreditation’ (EEE-PT), established as a joint activity by EA, Eurolab and Eurachem to provide support on the use of PT to laboratory personnel and accreditation assessors.

Through these activities on PT, as well as other work in areas such as traceability, method validation, reference materials, measurement uncertainty, education and training etc., along with being an ILAC and EA stakeholder, Eurachem plays a very active role in supporting and promoting accreditation.

Brian Brookman
Eurachem PT Working Group

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