The purpose of proficiency testing is to provide interested parties with objective evidence of a laboratory’s capability to produce data that is both accurate and repeatable for the activities listed in its scope of accreditation or reported to customers. A laboratory’s competence can be demonstrated through favorable proficiency testing data. This is important to clients, potential customers, accreditation bodies, regulators, and other external entities.
Participation in proficiency testing activities also provides invaluable feedback in the internal monitoring of a laboratory’s quality system. Through these activities, a laboratory can verify its competence to perform specific tests. In addition to regulatory compliance, participating in a proficiency testing program can help validate the reliability of a laboratory’s analytical protocols, laboratory personnel, and equipment.
The Industrial Hygiene Proficiency Analytical Testing (IHPAT) Program is designed to assist a laboratory improve its analytical performance by providing samples on a quarterly basis, evaluating the results, and providing a performance report.