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Network of European proficiency testing schemes concerning the chemical analysis of occupational and environmental air samples

Objective

Most of the European Union's member states operate their own proficiency testing schemes in the occupational hygiene area, emphasising the importance most countries attribute to the validation of analytical results. With regards to harmonisation in this area there are many differences between the schemes at many levels. These include matters concerning their relationship with legislation, national status, types and quality of proficiency testing material, analytical range and priorities concerning further development. The first meeting of the network in Brussels in April 1997 discussed the objectives of the project and the actions necessary to achieve them.

1. To act as a steering group and umbrella organisation for the development and harmonisation of proficiency testing schemes in Europe.
2. To develop research initiatives, if required by the steering committee, to improve the quality of proficiency testing standards.
3. To improve the quality of analytical performance in occupational hygiene and environmental measurement in industry
A draft compendium has been developed to describe the services provide for each. scheme. A common statistical protocol has been agreed on as the basis for comparison. All of the schemes have been compared with the ISO Guide 43 and any deficiencies identified. Scheme organisers are to provide participants with estimates of uncertainty of the assigned value. All schemes are encouraged to accept laboratories from other member states. Members are to evaluate data to determine if standards of assessment are comparable and to supply formal proposals for new analytes for the European network.
To achieve harmonisation it is necessary that schemes are comparable with each other. This will be achieved by the comparison of each scheme to ISO Guide 43. It is particularly necessary to have comparable statistics and so a common one will be introduced into all schemes to enable comparisons to be carried out. There are many areas with the potential for co-operation and harmonisation such as: the opening up of some of the national schemes to laboratories of other member states, the introduction of new analytes, common data management protocols, comparable levels of required analytical performance to determine satisfactory analysis to conform with the requirements of CEN TC 137 and support to member states without schemes.

Funding Scheme

THN - Thematic network contracts

Coordinator

Health and Safety Executive (HSE)
Address
Broad Lane
S3 7HQ Sheffield
United Kingdom

Participants (10)

Arbejdsmiljøinstitutet
Denmark
Address
105,Lersø Parkalle 105
2100 København Í
HAUPTVERBAND DER GEWERBLICHEN BERUFSGENOSSENSCHAFTEN E.V.
Germany
Address
111,Alte Heerstrasse 111
53754 Sankt Augustin
INSTITUTE OF OCCUPATIONAL MEDICINE LTD
United Kingdom
Address
Roxburgh Place 8
EH8 9SU Edinburgh
Institut National de Recherche et de Sécurité
France
Address
Avenue De Bourgogne
54500 Vandoeuvre
Instituto Nacional de Seguridad e Higiene en el Trabajo
Spain
Address
S/n,la Dinamita
48903 Baracaldo
Ministerie van Tewekstelling en Arbeid
Belgium
Address
51,Belliardstraat
1040 Brussel
National Institute of Occupational Health
Norway
Address

0033 Oslo
Nederlands Meetinstituut N.V.
Netherlands
Address
97,Schoenmakerstraat
2600 AR Delft
Oulu Regional Institute off Occupational Health
Finland
Address
1,Aapistie
90220 Oulu
VITO - Vlaamse Instelling voor Technologisch Onderzoek NV
Belgium
Address
200,Boeretang
2400 Mol