Passing the Test: Understanding Proficiency Testing
May 03, 2022
Testing laboratories in the analytical world use proficiency tests (PTs) to comply with their accreditation requirements and evaluate analysts’ performance. PTs are an integral part of a quality management system (QMS) under quality assurance and control (QA/AC). Understanding the core components of the QMS is an important part of passing any PT test. Unacceptable PT results may have little to do with the result itself but reflect the use and application of statistics, standards, and methods. As more cannabis and hemp laboratories join implement quality management systems and become accredited under standards organizations, they also become subject to the need for proficiency testing. It can be argued that many PTs directed toward the general laboratory community are not a good fit for purpose in the cannabis community. In this article we discuss the purpose and best practices for PTs and how they can be better adopted to the cannabis market.