Proficiency Testing

What is Proficiency Testing?

Proficiency Testing, or PT, is the testing of unknown samples sent to a participating laboratory by an approved PT program. After testing the PT samples the same way the lab tests its patient specimens, the laboratory reports its sample results back to the PT program. The program grades the results and sends the laboratory scores (pass/fail or acceptable/unacceptable) reflecting how accurately it performed the testing.

Why is Proficiency Testing Important?

PT is important because it is a tool laboratories can use to verify not only the accuracy and reliability of its testing, but also the training and competency of the testing personnel performing the tests. Prompt reviews of PT reports by the laboratory staff and director will alert them to areas of testing that are not performing as expected and potential problems that could affect their patient results.