PARTICIPATION IS BY INVITATION ONLY (free of charge/nominal charge). Typically limited to 20 or fewer participants. Opportunity to investigate feasibility of EQA/PT provision in a given area; potentially identify any gross testing errors in the field. Number of distribution(s) and source of EQA/PT material issued may be variable. Aim is to establish a suitable samples matrix and troubleshoot any issues in trial process. May be funded by sponsorship and findings may published in peer reviewed literature. An experimental study may not proceed to the developmental phase.
Previously known as ‘pre-pilot’.
Open to participation from any laboratory. Predefined increasing cost over a number of years (typically, but not limited to, 5 years). Set number of distributions per financial year. Primary aim of this phase is to further optimise the programme (sample matrix and trial process) and wider ascertain the quality of testing performed in the given area. Identification of problematic testing aspects informs development of a performance monitoring system proposal in preparation for accreditation.
Previously known as ‘pilot’.
UKAS (ISO 17043) fully accredited. Open to participation from any laboratory (charge applies). An established programme (limited further development) with a defined number of distributions (samples) per financial year. Performance monitoring applied with UK persistent unsatisfactory performance referred to the appropriate NQAAP.