Guidance

Proficiency testing: the process and benefits

Proficiency testing (PT), also known as external quality assessment (EQA), allows the introduction of samples of known but undisclosed content into a laboratory’s routine testing procedure.

The process

Diagram showing the proficiency testing (PT) process

The benefits

Proficiency testing (PT):

  • provides staff with an insight into their laboratory’s performance
  • provides a comparison of performance with that of other laboratories, nationally and internationally
  • improves the standard of examinations
  • identifies areas where there may be problems
  • demonstrates to clients, colleagues and accreditation bodies that there is a commitment to quality
  • educates staff, providing a better understanding of the impact of incorrect results