PROFICIENCY TEST SCHEMES – PEP

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Introduction

The continous participation in programs of proficiency testing evaluates the work of the laboratories, focusing on the detection of errors, allowing the improvement of operational techniques and improving the quality of the measurements. Good results in these programs ensure greater reliability for customers and play an important role in acceptance of laboratory accreditors bodies or certifiers.

The analysis of a test item for external confirmation of quality, as part of the routine procedure of the laboratory, provides an objective comparison on a reference sample and allows a comparison of the chemical and microbiological results obtained by participating laboratories with each other.

Therefore, when the purpose is to search for accurate and reliable values, the proficiency tests are an important support to the laboratory.

The PEP-SENAI-SC (Center for Food Technology) has worked since 2002 with programs of proficiency testing in food in various matrices, including meat, cheese, feed, milk, milk powder, etc.. Works with microbiological parameters (quantitative and qualitative) and chemical parameters.

The provider of proficiency testing of SENAI-ctal is licensed by ANVISA (National Agency of Sanitary Surveillance) and the samples are prepared with a strict quality control of homogeneity and stability beyond its expertise in working with complex matrices such as food and the preparation of cepas of microorganisms.

The PEP-SENAI/SC team directly involved with the program consists of food engineers, industrial chemical engineers, biologists and food technologists. The Provider hires specialized technical services for the computational application of proficiency tests applied statistical and when necessary hires technical consulting services specializing for the standards applied and the training of technicians in matters pertaining to proficiency testing.

Confidencialidade and Information Security

Each participant is treated confidentially and is identified in the reports through a randomly generated number and only the participant will know what is his number. Access to information on the Internet is via password security. The application of the Internet was developed in Visual Studio.Net, which only runs on the server (ASP.Net) with a high level of security.

Send Samples

Samples are sent to participants by the shipping company registered in SENAI-SC. The average time to receipt from the mailing date is 3 days for capital cities and 4 days for the inner cities, for participants from Brazil. For participants from other countries, the average time to receipt of the samples varies from 3 to 6 days depending on location, without considering the time involved in the clearance of the countries of destination samples. On the day of shipment is sent an e-mail to all participants stating that the samples were shipped.

Resend of Samples

In cases of needing for resending samples the coust is by the participant.

Samples Analysis

The selection of the analytical method is at the discretion of each laboratory

Participants must declare the analytical methodology used to report the results on the PEP-Internet. The laboratory must perform three determinations for each analyte in the sample received for chemical parameters and two determinations for each analyte in the sample received for microbiological parameters. The calibration curves, where applicable, must be prepared in accordance with the methodology used.

Return of Results for PEP-SENAI-SC

The results should be reported on this site, and optionally in the form sent by the provider. Each participant receives, along with the samples, a letter stating your login as a member of PEP and its password to access the entry page of PEP. The page to fill in results is self-explanatory and additional information for completing the worksheets will be provided in the instructions accompanying the PEP test samples.

The page is released for entry of results from the date of shipment of samples to the participants and the results can be changed, if necessary, until the deadline date set for maximum transmission of the results. After this time the page is automatically closed to changes and entry of results. We will inform the said period of PEP in the instructions accompanying the samples.

Data Treatment and Reports

The laboratories will be evaluated by the Z-score.

The Z-Score allows the laboratory to evaluate its accuracy and allows to compare their performance with that of other participants.

The reports are accompanied by fundaments, information about the samples, comments, tables and graphs.
 

Example of Table for Microbiological results

Tables will be generated in English

Example of Table for Chemical results

Tables will be generated in English

Example Graphs for Z-Score and Dispersion

Graphs will be generated in English

 

REGISTER

1. REGISTRATION

• The participant must fill in the registration form to be able to register.

• It is the participant's full responsibility to keep all the records up-to-date in the PEP - SENAIsc provider.

• Participants in Brazil can register up to 5 days before the beginning of the round and participants in other countries must register up to 6 days before the beginning of the round.

1.1 FILLING-IN THE REGISTRATION FORM

• The participant should mark an “x” on the desired parameter and matrix(es) (only in the white boxes).

• The amounts of the parameters in the Interlaboratory Program contained in the schedule refer to one participation per round.

1.2 CONFIRMATION

• The participant can only consider his/her registration effective after receiving a confirmation from the PEP-SENAIsc provider by e-mail, which should be in less than 48h after receiving your confirmation.

2. PRE-REQUISITES FOR CARRYING OUT ROUNDS:

Rounds will only take place if there are at least 6 (six) participants registered in the quantitative parameters and 3 (three) participants in the qualitative parameters offered in order to ensure an adequate statistical treatment. In cases in which there is not the minimum number of people registered in the round, the participant will automatically be transferred to the next round that offers the parameters requested.

2.1 DEADLINE FOR CANCELING THE ROUND THROUGH THE PEP-SENAIsc PROVIDER:

• In case there is a need to cancel the round in a certain parameter, the participant will be warned at least 15 (fifteen) days before hand.

2.2 DEADLINE FOR CANCELING PARTICIPATION IN THE ROUND BY PARTICIPANT:

• Cancelling participation of the lab in the parameter(s) of the round will only be accepted if it is requested at least 30 (thirty) days before the samples are sent. The cancelling should be done by e-mail or fax and signed by the person responsible.

• In cases of canceling, the amounts paid will be automatically transferred for payment of parameters offered in other rounds.

3. SENDING SAMPLES

• A week before sending the samples an e-mail will be sent to all participants informing that the round will be sent.

• The costs for sending samples (freight) are the responsibility of PEP-SENAIsc provider.

3.1 DEADLINE FOR SENDING SAMPLES

• The date in which the samples are sent will be according to the schedule.

• If the samples need to be resent, the case should be submitted for analysis and approval by the PEP-SENAIsc Technical Committee.

3.2 PARTICIPANT RECEIVING SAMPLES

• When the participant receives samples, he/she should send the form “Receiving Term” fill out and signed to the provider by fax or e-mail up to 24h after receiving it.

• The participant is the one responsible for receiving the samples and should provide all the conditions to be able to receive them in their laboratory, including the documents required by customs of his/her country.

• If the sample is not received in 15 days (maximum time of guaranteed sample stability in transportation conditions), the participation of the laboratory will be automatically transferred to the next round. This procedure will only be allowed once, and the registration amounts will not be refunded.

4. RESULTS

It is the participant's full responsibility to fill-in the forms of results in a correct and clearly written way.

4.1 DEADLINE FOR THE PARTICIPANT TO SEND IN RESULTS

• The deadline for a participant to send in results to the PEP-SENAIsc Provider is 25 (twenty-five) days from the day the samples were sent.

• The provider will not accept results after this deadline. It is the participant's responsibility to provide the following conditions to ensure that the results are sent within the time given: equipment in proper operation, growth media, reagents, technical team to run tests, etc.

• Sending in results after deadline will automatically exclude the participant from the round without being able to ask for any kind of cancellation.

4.2 WAY PARTICIPANT'S RESULTS SHOULD BE SENT

• The result forms will be sent as a physical copy to participants together with the items of the test.

• The result forms, correctly filled-in (in a legible way) and signed, should be sent by fax or e-mail to the PEP-SENAIsc provider.

• It is not necessary to send the original copy.

• The laboratory should keep the file of basic data because it can be requested by the PEP-SENAIsc provider to confirm the data of the result form.

5. SENDING IN THE REPORTS

• The deadline for sending in the reports (in electronic form) is 15 (fifteen) days counting from the deadline for the participant to turn in the results.

• Costs for sending a copy of the results in physical means (in printed form) are the responsibility of the PEP-SENAIsc provider. This value is included in the price of the parameter. The deadline for receiving a physical copy is 30 days counting from the deadline for sending in the report in electronic form.

• For additional copies of the reports a fee will be charged (upon request).

6. PAYMENT

6.1. Laboratories in Brazil

• An invoice for payment will be sent to the participant together with the samples.

• Payment terms: 30 (thirty) days counting from when the invoice was sent.

• Special Payment Conditions: a request should be made by letter and signed by the person responsible, which is then subject for approval.

• We do not accept bank deposits.

6.2. Laboratories in other countries

• An invoice for payment will be sent to the participant after he/she registers.

• Payment terms: 30 (thirty) days from when the invoice was sent.

• The payment will be done through a bank deposit (Exchange).

• All fees involved in the exchange process are the participant's responsibility.

7. CONTACTS WITH PROVIDER:

PEP-SENAIsc
Lisiane Mezzaroba
Telephone: 55 (49) 3321-7319
Fax: 55 (49) 3321-7336
pep@sc.senai.br