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Proficiency testing

Conformity Assessment - General Requirements for Proficiency Testing

For a testing laboratory, performance is an aspect that must inspire confidence in clients and stakeholders such as regulators, laboratory accreditation organizations, and performance requirement–setting bodies. The performance targets of testing laboratories are closely tracked, especially using comparisons between laboratories, wich allow to assess the performance of laboratories based on predetermined critera. These comparisons are based mainly on proficiency tests. However, organizing, developing and conducting proficiency testing programs must meet specific requirements (for example, regarding the proficiency of the organizers) to ensure that the programs are rigorous and effective. These requirements are set out in the ISO/IEC 17043 standard, which is closely related to ISO/IEC 17025. The latter specifies that accreditation organizations must take into account the participation and performance of laboratories in proficiency tests for the laboratories to obtain accreditation.

Testing laboratories and proficiency testing providers wishing to be accredited may contact the BNQ, which has established a partnership with the Standards Council of Canada (SCC) to provide assessment services for purposes of recommending accreditation under ISO/IEC 17025 and ISO/IEC 17043. The assessment of proficiency testing providers performed by the BNQ makes it possible to establish the desired level of performance of a testing laboratory and to provide it with international recognition.