|Dr Charles Gowing,|
Analytical Geochemist at BGS
It was the 9th Workshop on Proficiency Testing (PT) in Analytical Chemistry, Microbiology and Laboratory Medicine, held in the coastal town of Portorož. This three-day workshop attracted 200 delegates from 53 countries, with wide ranging attendance from most European countries and extending from sub-Saharan Africa, north Africa and the Middle East across Asia as far as Australasia, and the Americas.
The location of the workshop was idyllic, on the shore of the Adriatic over which the sunsets made beautiful backdrops for end-of-the-day deliberations. One evening we were treated to a guided tour of the beautiful old city of Piran. A centuries-old city in a protected bay, it has been inhabited variously by the Roman, Venetian and Austria-Hungarian empires and is nestled on Slovenia’s coastline, just 46 km long.
|The Slovenian coastal town of Piran|
|A Slovenian sunset|
- the importance of interpretive PT schemes
- changes to PT schemes in developing countries over the last 10 years
- implementing the ISO/IEC Standard 17043 for sampling PT schemes
- traditional vs virtual PT schemes
- guidance on the levels and frequency of PT participation
- the use and treatment of measurement uncertainty in PT schemes
|Discussions at the workshop|
I was especially enamoured by presentations on the handling of datasets with multiple censored results, on water testing schemes across sub-Saharan Africa run out of Namibia and the difficulties in maintaining homogeneity in samples of manure (which appears to be even more heterogeneous that geological materials).
|Delegates at the 9th Workshop on Proficiency Testing (PT) in Analytical Chemistry, Microbiology and Laboratory Medicine|
Dr Charles Gowing, is Quality Manager in the Inorganic Geochemistry team within the Centre for Environmental Geochemistry and works with the International Association of Geoanalysts on the Steering Committee of the GeoPT Proficiency Testing Scheme for the analysis of Geological materials.