A ring test is an interlaboratory test that, depending on its design, allows to evaluate either the performance of testing laboratories, to characterize material or to validate a test method. A ring test designed to check the performance of test laboratories is called a Proficiency Testing Scheme.
Proficiency Testing Schemes are tests performed by several testing laboratories in order to evaluate the performance of their analysis and is based on similar homogeneous samples. Interlaboratory comparisons are dedicated to laboratories to ensure better quality and control.
Our annual series of Proficiency Testing Schemes are based on the following principles:
- Confidentiality regarding the participating laboratories (anonymity),
- Diversity of matrixes/test samples,
- Robustness of the assigned values.
The organization of Proficiency Testing Schemes match up to the requirements of ISO 17043 standard.
We offer a wide range of Proficiency Testing Schemes.
How it works.
In order to ensure a high quality service, Bipea undergoes in-house all processes: we set-up PT schemes, manufacture and ship samples, and perform statistical analyses..
Every year, the scientific and technical department determines the program of the annual series. Then every month a regular process of shipment of samples, data collection and statistical tests are organized, thus the Proficiency Testing Program :
1. Bipea annual series of Proficiency Testing Schemes.
Bipea offers annual series or program of proficiency tests. 10-month annual series begin in September and finish in June of the following year. A laboratory registering in September will therefore receive all samples from September to June.
Each annual series is composed by a variety of trials (or rounds), which contain 1 to 10 samples (matrixes) to be analyzed. Depending on the program you choose, you will receive a fixed number of samples at a determined frequency.
Participating laboratories can influence the design of Proficiency Testing Schemes. They are invited to the corresponding PT scheme annual meeting, called “Committee”. During this meeting participating laboratories can comment on the selection of matrixes, parameters, and frequency of shipments. The Scientific and Technical Department of Bipea will consider any recommendations and investigate if the proposal can be incorporated in our next trials. This collaborative mechanism of Bipea is a real asset since incorporates needs of the laboratories; it also helps evolve the analytical field.
2. Registration of Laboratories.
Laboratories interested in participating in Bipea PTS can register at the beginning or during the annual series. If joining during an annual series, the price will be calculated by pro rata according to the participation. Please feel free to contact the sales representatives by phone +33.1.40.05.26.30 or by email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Once a laboratory registers, a laboratory code with 5 digits is granted. In order to guarantee its confidentiality, the laboratory manager will receive additional codes or passwords, which report the results on a secured online form.
3. Manufacture and Shipment of Samples.
Our samples are manufactured in-house by our manufacturing department except the ones regarding microbiological testing, which are manufactured by our accredited subcontractor. We take drastic measures in order to ensure samples’ homogeneity. Raw materials used by Bipea are as closely related to those used in testing laboratories. Spiking is used in our manufacturing process in order to ensure higher quality test samples. Bipea has developed a large logistic expertise in packaging and shipping companies in order to assure a good reception of samples. Cooling gels, ice packs, buffers, isotherm boxes can be used according to the sensibility of the test samples.
The manufacturing and shipping department assigns a unique reference number to each sample and ensures full traceability. The samples are shipped to participating laboratories of the schemes via express mail companies. For laboratories in France, delivery is made the next day. For laboratories abroad, delivery varies between 1 and 5 days according to the location.
4. Laboratories carry out analysis for the statistical department to generate comparison results.
When the testing laboratories receive the test samples, they find the analysis by downloading the answer form on our website. The participating laboratories conduct the analysis and submit their results using the online form before deadline (mentioned on the form). It is not mandatory for the laboratory to perform all analysis mentioned in the form; therefore, the laboratory is free to choose which analysis he/she wants to conduct.
The analysis results are transmitted via Bipea website to the statistical department that will generate the appropriate statistical testing. The statistical department is in charge of the publication of the inter-laboratory comparison reports within 17 days. This objective is a target date fixed within our internal quality control scheme in support to our accreditation.