September 1, 2021

PAT Programs concludes the Total Spore Count pilot program.

Thank you to participants who volunteered time to take part in the Total Spore Count pilot rounds in 2020 and 2021.

PAT Programs has evaluated the performance of analysts and reviewed feedback from participating organizations. Due to the complexity of data collection, scoring, and final report generation process, in addition to the administrative and capital costs associated with adding the Total Spore Count to the EMPAT program, PAT Programs has decided not to add this option to the proficiency testing programs currently offered.

Key components discussed during the pilot program were the implications of how total spore count is applied to laboratory results that are reported to customers. This pilot was not intended to address that component, only the similarity/differences in quantitative analysis of spores in images, but PAT Programs continues to encourage experts in the field to discuss this important issue.