[Webinar] Understanding Lab Proficiency Testing

Image of a lab technician charting samples for a laboratory proficiency test.

Join us for a Spex® webinar

Tuesday, April 12, 2022: US/Americas region: 12 pm CST (Chicago)

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Tuesday, April 12, 2022: EMEA/APAC region: 10 am GMT (London)

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Duration: 1 hour

About the webinar

The announcement of lab proficiency testing (PT) round, or scheme, can invoke a variety of responses from anxiety to resignation. Very few analysts look forward to performing these checks and sometimes feel they are being put on the spot and judged. In fact, a PT is used to evaluate laboratory and analyst performance, but it is not analogous to those dreaded college finals which one had to pass; instead, it is a tool of a quality management system to review methods and performance to weed out error and improve laboratory functions. This webinar will look at the best practices for achieving the passing results for PT analysis and tips on what to look at when challenged by a PT.

There are several key components of an analytical laboratory’s QA/QC including the use of CRMs, use or development of validated methods, and the implementation of a PT scheme. PT is a series or schemes of samples which are intended to test the performance of individuals or laboratories in specific areas or for specific tests. In this webinar, we will examine the role of a PT and look at the development, rationale and best practices for PTs including how results are derived and what those results reflect as far as laboratory performance.

What you will learn

  • Understand the purpose and function of a PT
  • Review best practices for preparing for and running a PT scheme
  • Learn the appropriate steps to take to pass a PT and items to consider when rerunning a failed PT or examining a non-compliant PT result

 Who should attend

  • Elemental spectroscopists working with AA, ICP, ICP/MS, IC and other elemental techniques
  • Analysts working in chemical, microbiological and molecular biology analytical laboratories
  • All laboratory chemists and technicians required by their QMS to perform PT testing

About the presenters

Patricia Atkins
Senior Applications Scientist
Spex, an Antylia Scientific company

Patricia Atkins is a Senior Applications Scientist. She is a graduate of Rutgers University in NJ and was laboratory supervisor for Ciba Specialty Chemicals in the Water Treatment Division. Patricia later accepted a position conducting research and managing an air pollution research group within Rutgers University’s Civil & Environmental Engineering Department. In 2008, Patricia joined Spex as a senior application scientist in our certified reference materials’ division and spends her time researching industry trends and developing new reference materials. Patricia has been involved with many industry-focused advisory and regulatory groups including AOAC, ASTM, ACIL, NACRW and the Emerald Conference. She is a frequent presenter and speaker at numerous conferences including NACRW, NEMC, Pittcon and AOAC. She is a published author with her work appearing in various journals and trade publications including Spectroscopy, LCGC and Cannabis Science and Technology where she is a columnist for analytical issues in cannabis testing.

Lauren Stainback
Global Product Manager and USP PT Coordinator
NSI Lab Solutions

Lauren Stainback is the Global Product Manager for NSI Lab Solutions Inc. Lauren leads NSI’s product and business development efforts. Formerly a forensic lab director, Lauren has 15 years of experience within clinical and analytical laboratory science. She provides technical support and product development for molecular biology, pharmaceutical science, analytical chemistry and microbiology. Lauren is focused on supporting customers and distributors through technical support, applications training and new product development.

Donnell Charles
Sr. Manager Proficiency Testing Programs


Donnell graduated with a doctorate in public health from Columbus University, MBA from Western Governors University and a Masters in biotechnology from Johns Hopkins University. In his current role, he directs and oversees the development of the USP Proficiency Testing Program physical materials, methods, pricing, publication, coordination, and co-marketing of PT studies in association with NSI Lab Solutions Inc., an Antylia scientific company. He has 20 years of experience in the quality management system, ISO and proficiency testing and international laboratory systems development in PQM at USP. Donnell has had professional stints in Human Genome Sciences, FMC, Actavis, Battelle, and the FBI.


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