Proficiency Test Committee        
  Activity Report   Documents   Working Programme
Chair Didier Demilly
Member Christian Boehm
Sarah Dammen
Sharon Davidson
Andrea Jonitz
Mari Jürman
Gillian McLaren
Sergio Pasquini
Dot Vittrup Pedersen
Zita Ripka
Benno Voit
Ruojing Wang
Rita Zecchinelli
The Proficiency Test Committee invites participation by anyone interested in becoming a proficiency test leader.  This includes any who have previously been leaders as well as those with no experience in preparation of proficiency test samples.
The schedule for the proficiency testing programme is finalised during each triennial Congress. The three year plan includes the list of species for at least nine rounds, the tests which will be conducted (e.g. purity, other seed determination, germination, moisture determination, viability and vigour), and the names of the test leaders who have volunteered for the rounds.  Each PT round leader is responsible for finding three seed lots having a range of quality for germination and which are reasonably free from impurities.  If the tests include other seed determination, the leader develops a list of impurities to be added, which is approved by the Committee Chair.  The test leader prepares approximately 150 sub-samples from each seed lot and conducts homogeneity tests before distribution.  The ISTA Secretariat carries much of the burden of preparing the written communications, distributing the samples, entering data into the database and preparing the reports.  The test leader reviews data summaries prepared by the Secretariat and writes recommendations for those laboratories which have demonstrated difficulties with the proficiency test. The leader advises the Secretariat on any questions concerning the round and may receive requests for assistance from participating laboratories which experienced specific problems.  Test leaders are provided with a detailed protocol for sample preparation and are assured advice and support from the Secretariat and Committee.  Some of the costs associated with sample preparation, (e.g. purchase of seed lots, containers, shipping, etc.), are reimbursed by the Secretariat, but the cost of labour cannot be reimbursed.
Although there is a significant time commitment, previous test leaders will confirm that this is a very rewarding experience because it provides an insight into the complexities of proficiency testing and gives a direct behind-the-scenes view of a very important ISTA activity.  If you are interested in becoming a proficiency test leader, or would like to receive more information, please contact the ISTA Secretariat.

More information about the Proficiency Test Programme can be found here.

Updated 26.09.2013 (ne)


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