Train-the-Trainer on accreditation of Proficiency Testing Providers (PTP) against ISO/IEC 17043:2023

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Fifty-five participants attended two Train-the-Trainer sessions organized by the EA Laboratory Committee on Accreditation of Proficiency Testing Providers (PTP) against ISO/IEC 17043:2023 on February 13th and 15th in Brussels, Belgium.

The training session has been organized to address the revision of ISO/IEC 17043 (published in May 2023) and to understand the changes introduced in the standard, 55 participants were present. The revision was necessary primarily to align the standard with the new structure of ISO 17000 series standards, with requirements divided into the following main topics: General, Structural, and Resource Requirements; Process Requirements; and Management System Requirements. Additionally, some changes have been included in a few requirements. 

Proficiency Testing Providers (PTP) play a significant role in various testing activities, from the medical sector to safety and environmental evaluations. They provide a platform for laboratories seeking to challenge their activities and confirm that their results are consistent with other laboratories. In other words, it is a tool designed to uncover any potential hidden mistakes made by laboratories. From the perspective of National Accreditation Bodies (NABs), it serves as a tool to confirm their competence. The key point is that PTP is a third-party organization that provides an independent and impartial evaluation of laboratory performance.

In general terms, a Train-the-Trainer course aims to update and inform National Accreditation Bodies about newly developed or revised standards or related documents that may impact the accreditation process. The idea behind this is explained in the course’s title: to train individuals belonging to NABs who will then train others or disseminate the new requirements and the rationales behind them. The course is organized in a workshop format, which we believe is the ideal way to achieve the best results in terms of deep understanding of the requirements and how they can be assessed in a harmonized manner among all NABs, especially for critical issues.

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