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Execution quality of the laboratories is being tested

Laboratory-Competence-Test in the QS-System

"The QS-Laboratory-Competence-Test enables laboratories to identify problems and error sources and therefore, consistently improve the quality of analyses," Dr. Gustav Offenbächer, expert for residue analytics and quality control, explains. These tests are focused on finding weak spots and being able to stabilize them. This is once again proven by this years spring-testing: Although 71% of the renowned laboratories passed the test, only a third of them were completely without errors. Laboratories recognized by QS generally did a lot better than other facilities.

"With this test, laboratories can regularly prove that they are keeping their productivity up on a consistent level. Without a continuous effort to become better in their analysis, passing the test is not possible," Offenbächer explains. "On the other hand, the test is supporting the in-house quality management of the facilities. Deficits are revealed and can be fixed afterwards." By transmitting the test scores, the laboratories are asked to make a statement on the deficits and work through them as soon as possible. At the annual meeting of laboratory managers, the analytical problems gathered from the tests are introduced and discussed in plenary.

The current test posed a challenge for the participants as they had to quantify substances in a complex sample matrix, such as savoy cabbage. Especially substances such as Fluazifob and Omethoate were difficult for the multi-method. The very polar pesticides (Chlorat, Perchlorat), which had to be distinguished with a different method, showed a similar picture. "The analysis of these substances is very challenging and requires a certain amount of experience in the laboratory, as well as the consideration of matrix-influences on the used separating and detecting systems," says Offenbächer. "The aspiration is to find substances and quantify them correctly, even in difficult matrices. 21 laboratories proved that this is possible in this past test, as they met all the requirements. In the end, these tests and their results can show all laboratories room for improvement," Offenbächer sums up the spring-tests.

Original Inspection-Reports still expandable
At the time of the transmission of the results, the laboratories asked for an original inspection report again. The data in the report is important for the interpretation of the results by the customer. In many sectors - for example when it comes to statements on marketability or ARfD utilization - the coverage has improved already. But there is more potential for improvements. 73% of laboratory reports missed at least one of the seven requested details.

For more information:
QS Fachgesellschaft
Obst-Gemüse-Kartoffeln GmbH
Schedestraße 1-3
53113 Bonn
Tel +49 (0)228 35068-0
Fax +49 (0)228 35068-10
Email: presse@q-s.de
Web: www.q-s.de

Publication date: 7/10/2017


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