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Proficiency Tests

About our Proficiency Tests

The EURL supports NRLs by organizing interlaboratory comparisons for the determination of chemical elements in food of animal origin (defined in CR 854/2004) pursuing selected objectives. In fact, since 2006 the EURL-CEFAO has been working to improve the analytical performance of NRLs proposing exercises dealing with matrices fortified at concentration of interest. Therefore chemical elements and matrices used are both those for which a ML is fixed in CR (EC) 1881/2006 and those generally analyzed in National Residues Control Plans of EU MS.
Each year PTs are planned taking into account both the outcome of the previous ones and the needs of NRLs. In order to meet these specific characteristics, materials are prepared ad hoc. This preparation starts with the purchase of commercial food. Each step of the preparation is carried out according to specific internal procedures that have been set for each matrix considered.

Since Certified Reference Materials fitting for specific analytical needs are hardly available on the market, the test items produced by the EURL are planned to be used by NRLs for their internal scopes i.e. Internal Quality Control.
The test items of each PT are shipped with a technical note containing information on the samples, deadline, contacts and special recommendations, if any. Extra samples can be delivered together with the test items, or made available, upon NRLs' request.

As NRLs can be third party in legal controversies, the interpretation of the results, in terms of sample acceptance, can be considered a critical point of the assessment. To offer a more complete exercise, as of 2008, these laboratories are requested to state the compliance of the analysed samples according to the relevant point in the Annex of CR 333/2007.
As such the PT represents not only a tool to improve the analytical quality of the results, but also a way to inìvestigate the steps that lead to the compliance assessment and, consequently, produce a better harmonization in the NRLs' general performance.

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Published 20-07-2010 in Proficiency Tests , last update 21-10-2016

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