Our programs are designed to ensure your laboratory covers many situations in laboratory testing, such as: sample types, ranges of result, and influencing factors in analyses.
Our customers enjoy the benefits of being able to cover many of their quality assurance requirements when they enrol in our programs. Many technicians can be monitored throughout the year. There is no need to schedule separate internal tests.
Follow-up advice and assistance is provided to our customers.
The IFM difference:- In terms of the difference between us and most other PT providers, we supply real materials at concentrations and forms that closely imitate the types of materials that customers would normally submit.
These ‘real life’ materials have multiple analyses requested, because it would be considered common for a customer to ask for example in microbiology, not only for E. coli, but also yeast and mould, coliforms and total counts on samples.
Similarly, when the customer is interested in pathogens, they tend to not only request Salmonella, but Listeria and other analytes. We provide multiple samples. Some of these are positive and some are negative for each of the targets.
Testing staff should have no pressure to give special handling to a particular sample because “it is the Salmonella PTP”. This is often the case with other PT scheme providers and thus the result may not be a true reflection of the laboratory’s everyday performance, where the most senior analyst or “A Team” member is the only person permitted to conduct PT work. It is our view that testing lab staff should treat every sample (whether customer or QA), with the same care and consideration and not massage PT samples through the system.
While, for sure, a lab will pay attention to the test results for a PTP sample, (even ours), by the time they have performed 7 or 8 analyses on each of 3 or 4 submitted samples, there is a certain amount of “QA fatigue” that makes them just accept each result. Massaging the results is like lying – once you start, you have to be so careful what you are altering – and the amount of records that need to be altered for multiple tests on multiple samples becomes “too much” – – (Besides, who is to say that the massaged results are right? There comes a point in time when you have to accept the results your staff report or close the lab.)
Further, when a PT runs frequently, (like our monthly schemes) PTP becomes routine and allows every staff member to be rostered to join in. This gives lab managers some insights to reality with respect to their lab performance, rather than having only the “A team” on board and treating the material like gold, in “kid gloves” – – and shaking with fear/care all the way to the test bench.