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IFM Terms and Conditions

 

Payment

All prices are quoted in Australian dollars. Payment must be in Australian dollars.

Laboratories within Australia

Prices are quoted exclusive of Australian Goods and services Tax.

Courier costs will be added and itemised separately on the invoice. Please ask us for a quote.

Laboratories outside Australia

Courier costs will be added and itemised separately on the invoice. Please ask for a quote.

Delivery of your order will be facilitated when you send us all relevant permits and import certificates prior to the shipping date.

How to pay IFM

IFM accepts payment in Australian dollars.

IFM issues invoices when payment is required.

Cheques and bank Drafts

  • Customers within Australia can pay by Company Cheque.

  • Customers outside Australia can pay by Official Bank Draft on provision that all transaction fees are met by the customer.

Electronic transfer

  • All customers may pay by electronic funds transfer provided all fees are paid by the customer.

Credit Card

  • IFM accepts VISA card, Master Card.   A surcharge will be added for use of this facility. The current % is stated in the payment section of all financial documents.

Return of results

Laboratories participate in proficiency testing programs on the understanding that they will be sharing their results and information anonymously with other laboratories performing the same analysis. Non-return of results compromises the spirit of the programs, and reports will not be sent to laboratories unless they return results. Payment in full is required from all laboratories enrolling whether they return results or not.

 

Errors in Participant Proficiency Testing Results

Proficiency testing reports should reflect the level of accuracy that a regular testing client would receive. 

 

If a participant finds an error in their proficiency testing results, they may notify us in writing and change their submission prior to 5pm (Sydney time) on the due date for return. Changes after this time will not be accepted.

 

IFM reports results as submitted by participants. IFM will, however, edit submissions if they are thought to compromise their confidentiality.

 

On occasion, it seems as though participants have mixed up the samples or not processed the samples according to the instructions. IFM cannot make assumptions of this nature and change results 'to suit'. We also cannot compromise the integrity of the programs by suggesting to some participants that they should review their results prior to the due date. (This is unfair to other participants!) It is the responsibility of the participants to check all aspects of the program, including sample identification, preparation, testing instructions, calculations and reporting of the results prior to results submission.

 

If samples are not in good condition on arrival to the participant laboratory, IFM must be notified in writing IMMEDIATELY, as often samples can be replaced in good time. Claims about samples received in bad condition will not be accepted after the report has been issued.

Late Enrolments and Late Results

Late enrolment requests cannot always be accommodated, as sample manufacture must be scheduled well in advance to the shipping date of the program to allow all necessary quality assurance activities to be carried out.

 

Shipping of PTP materials and evaluating test results from PTPs out-of-cycle with the mainstream programs is considerably time consuming and therefore costly.  

 

In order not to disadvantage participants able to comply with time frames, IFM will charge a late fee in the following circumstances:

  • Requests for enrolment in PTPs after the advertised cut-off date

  • Requests that IFM staff enters results on behalf of participants

  • Requests to record results after the due date

  • Requests for PTP participation that is out-of-cycle with the scheduled dates

Loss or Damage of Samples in "True Round Robin" Programs

This applies only to programs where an artefact is tested by many participants, being passed from one participant to another. The reimbursement cost includes an administrative fee plus the average cost expected if the sample were replaced and the program re-sent to the affected participants. All participants will be notified of the specific replacement cost when applicable to the program being undertaken.

Shipping fees and Customs clearance

Costs incurred for shipping samples and clearance of same through customs are the responsibility of the laboratory unless otherwise indicated in program advertisements.

Non-payment of fees

IFM retains the right to with-hold reports and/or test materials and services when invoices are outstanding.

Confidentiality of results

All data and information received by IFM from its clients are considered confidential unless the client has given express permission to pass on information. For electrical testing laboratories, please also see relevant pages within this site for more information about confidentiality.

Official Confidentiality Policy

 

Use of Reports

Proficiency Test Reports are the copyright of IFM Quality Services Ltd. They are issued under controlled conditions to participants and to organisations with responsibility for the participation of laboratories in PT Schemes. Reports may not be passed to or used by other organisations without the express authority of IFM Quality Services Ltd.

 

Acceptance of Orders

Orders for participation in IFM proficiency testing programs or provision of other IFM products and services may be accepted by receipt of a written request (ie by fax, letter, or official company order form), sent to the company.

Once an order is placed, it can only be cancelled in writing. This MUST occur more than one week before the scheduled date of dispatch. Once samples have been dispatched, an order cannot be cancelled.

Participant Collusion and Falsification of Results

This policy satisfies the requirements of our accreditation to ILAC G13:2000 to prevent collusion and falsification of results.   

Definitions:

The dictionary definitions of “collusion” and “falsification” are as follows.

 ·        Collusion: A secret agreement or cooperation for a fraudulent or deceitful purpose.

 ·        Falsification: Deliberately changing something to be false.

In proficiency testing terms, collusion is comparing data (and perhaps changing data) to fit in with a believed “correct” result. This is contrary to the spirit of proficiency testing programs, which are issued with the intention of providing an objective comparison of a laboratory’s performance with others.

IFM tries to minimise the occurrence of collusion by being aware that laboratories should be objective when they report their results, and should therefore not know the intended results at the time they are reporting to us.  Answers are not provided to clients until results have been submitted.

We are also vigilant about checking the similarities in data which is submitted by more than one participant, particularly if the answers are incorrect.

However, it is seldom possible to substantiate suspicions of copied data from submitters and it would therefore be difficult to make accusations. It is ultimately up to the participating laboratories to get the most benefits from a PT program.  This is achieved through integrity, completing the tests without foreknowledge of the intended or possible results and submitting the answers they actually generate

 To prevent collusion and falsification our advice to clients is:

  • DON’T confer with others about  PT samples or results.

  • DO accept the fact that everyone makes errors.

  • DON’T average the results or opinions of every person in the laboratory before selecting the answer to be submitted. Instead, use one of the answers AS SUBMITTED to you or take advantage of the IFM internal QA services and submit all answers generated by the technicians.

  • DO have confidence in your own results.

Proficiency Testing (PT) is a compulsory part of laboratory accreditation, but it is also an important tool for giving you confidence in your results. “Enhancing” your PT results with assistance from another participant cannot increase confidence in your laboratory’s performance.

We also take care to ensure that collusion does not occur within IFM. Within the testing laboratory on our premises we participate in many of the programs that we issue. Below are examples of ways IFM prevents collusion and falsification of results.

  • We participate in programs that are issued by other PT providers as well as our own.

  • IFM's testing staff are not told what the expected results are, nor what we are expecting.

  • We subject ALL staff results to analysis, even if they are different.

  • The staff have the right to check that the results we enter on their behalf are correctly transcribed.

  • We use our incident (non-conformity) system to investigate and deal with possible collusion / falsification of results.

Clients are always welcome to contact IFM to seek advice or information about collusion or falsification of data.

Policy for Participant Appeal of PTP Performance Assessment

If participants disagree with their performance assessment in a proficiency report, they should inform IFM in writing.

Written submissions are assessed by IFM staff, and a response should be expected within 7 days.

The response will include IFM’s interpretation of the outcome of the re-assessment and an explanation of that outcome. (For example, explanation of a calculation, or the rationale for the outcome of the evaluation.)

If a mistake has been made by IFM, it will be dealt with via IFM’s non-conformity (incident) system.

If the mistake is seen to be the customer's, it will be entered as customer feedback in IFM's incident register for further review. The incident register is used to improve programs and customer service, and will result in clearer documentation where deemed appropriate.

Policy Regarding IFM's Role in Monitoring Corrective Actions for PTPs Supported by the IECEE System

The term "follow up activities" in this policy refers to corrective actions and all other types of follow up that may be required as a result of engaging in PTP programs supported by the IECEE System.

IFM's role as a service provider in this scheme is to monitor completion of follow up activities required of laboratories when these have been identified in the course of operating PTP programs.

The period of time that IFM monitors follow up activities is 3 months from the date of issue of the final report. 

IFM will record in a database, the date of receipt of communication that covers all required aspects of the relevant follow up activity.  Incomplete follow up activity reports should not be submitted to IFM.

The laboratory has responsibility to ensure they download the main report and read it to determine whether follow up activities are required, the nature of such activities and the type of documentation necessary for closure of actions in IFM's database.

The laboratory has responsibility to retain records of corrective actions/follow up activities in accordance with ISO/IEC 17025:2005.  To protect the confidentiality of participants, reports of follow up activities received by IFM from participants will be deleted once sighted and recorded.

The on-site assessment team has responsibility to review the technical suitability of corrective and follow up actions.

Uncompleted follow up activities will be closed after the due date by issue of a referral report to the IECEE secretariat and/or the relevant NCB and/or the laboratory's management, dependent on the type of laboratory and their status within the System.

IFM reserves the right to charge an additional fee to laboratories causing IFM to spend excessive time in this monitoring process.

Information about Statistical Methods Used

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IFM Quality Services Pty Ltd

IFM, Working with you, for you

PO Box 877, Ingleburn 2565, AUSTRALIA

4/58 Stennett Road Ingleburn NSW 2565 Australia

Telephone:  +61 2 9618 3311

 Facsimile: +61 2 9618 3355

Email:  ContactIFM@ifmqs.com.au
                                                                            
Date of page update: September 26, 2012