General

  • All orders must be in writing.  Verbal orders will not be accepted.
  • Placement of an order via completion and return of an IFM order form (or other written correspondence), and/or acceptance of an IFM quotation indicates that you have read and accept the below listed Terms and Conditions.
  • IFM products include, but are not limited to, Consulting Services, IFM Reference Materials and enrolments in IFM Proficiency Testing (PT) Programs.  These terms and conditions apply to all IFM products and services.
  • IFM will not be held responsible for failures in the delivery of emails or the effects of spam, virus, malware and similar filters which may prevent the receipt of an order.
  • IFM endeavours to respond to order requests within 2 business days.
  • It is the responsibility of the person placing the order to follow up with IFM in a timely fashion to ensure the order has been received.
  • An order is only confirmed once you have received an IFM Order or Invoice document.
  • A Quotation is not a confirmed order.
  • Any Discount offered will only be honoured when payment is made according to the stated discount terms.

Proficiency Testing Program Orders

  • Close attention should be paid to the advertised enrolment close date for each PT program.
  • Orders not received by the advertised close dates may be subject to additional fees and charges, may be considered Late or may not be accepted.
  • All dates and times, unless otherwise stated, reflect Australia Eastern (Sydney) time.
  • PT enrolments will only be accepted via the official IFM order form and must include the IFM Customer Id.
  • Completed orders required to be submitted via email must be addressed to: orders@ifmqs.com.au
  • An order should not be sent to other IFM email addresses.  IFM cannot guarantee receipt or processing of orders sent to other email address.
  • Purchase Orders must be in writing and quote the published IFM item code(s).

Late PTP Enrolments

  • Late enrolments may not be possible for logistical, technical or other reasons
  • Will usually attract a 40 % late enrolment surcharge
  • Will usually be offered for a period of 3 weeks after the published enrolment close date
  • After the close of late enrolments, any outstanding quotations will expire and be deleted
  • Sample dispatch will occur approximately 1 week after the close of late enrolments.
  • At IFM’s discretion, late enrolments may be integrated into the current operating program, or operate as a separate ‘Late’ PTP

 

Fees and Charges

  • All prices are quoted in Australian Dollars and are exclusive of 10 % Goods and Services Tax (GST).
  • GST is ONLY applicable to Australian customers.
  • Shipping charges, when not included in the item cost, will be separately itemised.
  • Shipping charges will be determined based on your delivery location.
  • Where clients request the use of a courier other than IFM’s preferred carrier, additional charges may apply.
  • A fee of AUD $50 will be charged when a Certificate of Origin is required
  • Pricing requested in currencies other than AUD will include an allowance for currency conversion and may be subject to a foreign exchange adjustment at the time of invoicing.
  • Provision of paper documents (e.g. contracts, invoices) will incur a minimum fee of AUD $10.
  • Additional PT program samples will be priced at a nominal cost per sample only after purchase of the full-price program by the customer site.
  • Multiple PT result submissions for testing performed at the same enrolled site will not incur additional fees or charges.
  • Late submission of test results may be subject to a charge of up to 40 % of the program fee.
    (See section “Late PT Enrolments and Late Results”)

 

Invoicing and Payment

  • Invoices are normally issued after dispatch has occurred. However, invoices may be requested by customers prior to this time.
  • Accepted payment methods are Electronic Funds Transfer or Credit Card (Visa or Mastercard).
  • Payment by cheque is NOT accepted.
  • Payments made via Funds Transfer must include all sending and receiving bank fees so that the full invoice amount is received into IFM’s bank account.
  • Payments made via credit card may attract a surcharge which is a percentage of the invoice value.
    The current surcharge % is stated in the payment section of all IFM quotation, order and invoice documents.

Non-payment of fees

IFM retains the right to with-hold reports, products and/or services when ANY invoices are outstanding past IFM’s payment terms.

Shipping fees and Customs clearance

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

Please refer to:  Customs and Importation Guidelines

 

Cancellation

  • Notice of cancellation must occur in writing.
  • Orders cannot be cancelled after dispatch has occurred.
  • Cancellation of PT program enrolments received less than 10 days prior to the published dispatch date will incur a fee of up to 25 % of the program price.

Importation Documentation, Permits and Charges

  • It is the responsibility of the importer to ensure that the importation requirements of local authorities have been fully met.
  • Documentation required to travel with the items, such as import permits, must be provided in electronic format to IFM at least two weeks prior to the scheduled dispatch.
  • All importation fees, duties and taxes are the responsibility of the importer. These charges are NOT included in IFM’s prices.

Sample Condition on Receipt

Please inspect items as soon as they arrive.  If any items are found to be in poor condition, please IMMEDIATELY notify IFM in writing.  Photographs should be provided to support the claim. Early advice will ensure timely replacement.  Claims will not be accepted after a PT report has been issued.

Return of Proficiency Testing Program 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 analyses.  Non-return of results compromises the spirit of the programs, and reports will not be sent to laboratories unless they return results.

Errors in Participant Proficiency Testing Results

Proficiency testing results submissions should reflect the level of accuracy that a regular testing client would receive.  The due date for results return is considered to be equivalent to the date that the laboratory has issued a testing report to their customer.  They should also consider that their customer may have undertaken action based on the information contained within the report.

  • The on-line result submission facility allows results to be updated at any time until the due date.
  • Errors, including non-technical errors, detected after the due date for results submission cannot be changed and should be seen as items the laboratory can improve.
  • It is the responsibility of participants to perform aspects of the program according to instructions (including relevant standards and/or methods) and laboratory procedures, including, receipt and preparation of the sample/s, testing, calculations and reporting of results.
  • IFM reports on results as submitted by participants.  IFM will however, edit submissions if they are thought to compromise their confidentiality.

 

Late PTP Results

IFM may charge a late fee in the following circumstances:

  • Requests that IFM staff enter 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. (These may also be considered as a Custom or On Demand PTP)

Loss or Damage of Samples in “Round Robin” Programs

This applies to programs where an artefact is tested by many participants over time.

Laboratories are requested to formally agree to reimburse the costs of replacing or repairing the artefact in the event of sample damage or destruction which is caused by the participating laboratory.

The reimbursement cost will include an administrative fee plus the cost of repair or replacement of the artefact.

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.

Use of PT 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.

 

Participant Collusion and Falsification of Results

This policy satisfies the requirements of our accreditation to ISO/IEC 17043 to prevent collusion and falsification of results.

In proficiency testing terms, collusion is comparing data (and perhaps falsifying data) to fit in with a believed “correct” result. This is contrary to the spirit of proficiency testing programs, which are operated with the intention of providing an objective comparison of the performance of enrolled laboratories.

IFM minimises the risk of collusion and falsification by:

  • Keeping confidential the sample content and expected results until the final report is issued
  • Checking for similarities in results, particularly from the same site or sister sites or when the submitted results are not correct

IFM may notify a laboratory manager in situations where it believes collusion or falsification may have occurred.  However, substantiating such suspicions is both difficult and sensitive.  Therefore, it is ultimately the responsibility of participating laboratories to respect the positive aims of PT programs and conduct themselves with the expected integrity.  Tests should be conducted without knowledge of, nor any expectation of, the results. Answers should be reported as determined by the test outcomes.

To prevent collusion and falsification our advice is:

  • DON’T confer with others about PT samples or results.
  • DO accept the fact that everyone makes errors from time to time.
  • DO have confidence in your own results.
  • DON’T average the results or opinions of every person in the laboratory before selecting the answer to be submitted.  Instead, submit one of the answers, or take advantage of IFM’s multiple participant entries and submit all answers generated by the technicians.

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.

 

Appealing a PTP Performance Assessment

If participants disagree with their performance assessment in a proficiency report, they may prepare and submit a written appeal to IFM.

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.

Appeal relating to the IECEE CB scheme PTP

Frequently, disputes relating to assessments of participants can be resolved after clarifications have been made.

For that purpose, any correspondence relating to appeals or disputes should, in the first instance, be directed to IFM’s program coordinator.

If the CB scheme laboratory is not satisfied with the outcome, an appeal should be directed in writing to the IECEE secretariat.

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 follow up activities are managed in accordance with the requirements of IECEE OD 5004.

It is each laboratory’s responsibility to file their corrective action responses ready for scrutiny by an assessor or internal auditor.  IFM does not retain corrective action reports after recording the outcome.

After the due date, uncompleted follow up activities will be closed by issue of a referral report (GNCR) 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.

  • Laboratories receiving a GNCR are liable for an administration fee.  This administration fee covers costs of extra activities associated with the GNCR process.
  • IFM reserves the right to charge an additional fee to laboratories causing IFM to spend excessive time in the monitoring of corrective actions.