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Accreditation and Quality Assurance

, Volume 6, Issue 4–5, pp 164–167 | Cite as

Economy of proficiency testing: reference versus consensus values

  • A. Baldan
  • Adriaan M. H. van der Veen
  • Daniela Prauß
  • Angelika Recknagel
  • N. Boley
  • Steve Evans
  • Derek Woods
Practitioner’s Report

Abstract 

Many proficiency tests are operated with a consensus value derived from the participants’ results. Apart from technical issues, one of the reasons often mentioned is that proficiency tests operated with consensus values would be cheaper than those using reference values obtained from a priori characterisation measurements. The economy of a proficiency test must of course be balanced by the need of the participants, and the quality of the comparison in general. The proficiency tests selected in this study had both a reference value and a consensus value, one of which was used for assessing the performance of the participating laboratories. In this work, both a technical and an economical assessment of how the comparisons were operated is made. From the evaluation, it follows that usually the use of consensus values does not necessarily reduce the costs of a proficiency test. However, frequently it may be observed that the quality of the assessment of the laboratories is better with a reference value.

Keywords Proficiency testing Economy Assigned values Food Environmental analysis Mechanical testing 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. Baldan
    • 1
  • Adriaan M. H. van der Veen
    • 1
  • Daniela Prauß
    • 2
  • Angelika Recknagel
    • 2
  • N. Boley
    • 3
  • Steve Evans
    • 3
  • Derek Woods
    • 3
  1. 1.Nederlands Meetinstituut, Schoemakerstraat 97, 2628 VK Delft, The Netherlands e-mail: abaldan@nmi.nl Tel.: +31-15-269 1500 Fax: +31-15-261 2971NL
  2. 2.Bundesanstalt für Materialforschung und -prüfung, Unter den Eichen 87, 12200 Berlin, GermanyDE
  3. 3.LGC, Queens Road, Teddington TW11 0LY Middlesex, United KingdomGB

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