Providing A2LA w/ Proficiency Test results

T

toroetl

#1
Per "A2LA Proficiency Testing Requirements for Accredited Testing and Calibration Laboratories, 09/05" section H, Providing A2LA with PT Results, lab is required to complete and submit the A2LA Proficiency Testing Data Submission form along with the data and corrective actions. We are the electronic test lab, and we do internal performance-based data comparison (i.e. have two lab staff do the same test independently; A2LA assessor had approved such comparison) rather than participating in proficiency testing program. So my question is, in such situation, do we still need to submit the form of A2LA Proficiency Testing Data Submission along with all PT informantion each time we complete the test? Thank you!
 
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K

Kevin H

#2
Wow - I don't have a really good answer to your question. I'm suprised that your assessor did not require you to include comparison to external laboratories for your proficiency testing.

My experience with A2LA for a mechanical testing lab in a steel mill was that they were interested in interlaboratory proficiency testing - they wanted to see how your lab compared to other labs performing the same tests. To meet those requirements, I enrolled the lab in proficiency testing for preparing and pulling tensile tests and for measuring Rockwell B and C hardness. (The name of the company I used escapes me.) They provided samples, which we prepared and tested. At the same time other labs prepared and tested samples from the same materials. Results were reported to the agency via code, and the agency sent both you and A2LA a report.

Any internal comparisons within the corporation that we chose to use had to be reported separately to A2LA. Hope the history helps a bit, even if it is a different field of testing.
 
C

crendfrey

#3
PT results reporting

I don’t know about A2LA’s requirements, however they must be similar to our accrediting body as they are signatories to the same MRA’s.
Our assessor also agreed we could do our proficiency testing in house, however an approved PT company had to create a “Scheme” (interesting choice of word for description of a process don’t you think?) for us to follow. We sent description of the analytical balance (duel range 4 to 5 decimal places) and they sent us a “Scheme”.
Get this…… 8 technicians, 10 weighments each and each weighment containing its own MU.:bonk:
The calculations are staggering! So..we do as we are told and receive a report back for EACH technician containing 23 pages of information. Yes 23 pages for each technician.
That being said, the data summery report contained the 80 weighments, 78/pass 2/fail and the corrective actions for the failures.
While the whole event(s) surrounding and including PT was a real pain in the butt, it was also an extraordinary learning opportunity. Not only for us, but for all of our technicians. After getting over the initial infliction of pain and insecurity(and the co$ts involved), all of us learned quite a bit.
So I guess I don’t have an answer to your question, only the suggestion that getting around proficiency testing is not always the most beneficial thing for you, your employees, or your customers. This is only my humble opinion. I admit freely and openly I have only recently formed this opinion as a direct result of my painful PT experience
 
T

toroetl

#4
Thanks Kavin! We were allowed to not paticipate in external lab comparison for PT was because there was no external lab available for us in the PT program.

"Any internal comparisons within the corporation that we chose to use had to be reported separately to A2LA". Internal comparison within the corporation is actually what we are doing for PT. Therefore, I'd like to know how you report to A2LA for this type of comparison. Thank you!
 
K

Kevin H

#5
The actual situation I described is in the past, about 7 years ago at a different employer than my current one. At that time the corporation had a Research Lab and several manufacturing sites that performed tensile testing. The Research Lab took the lead and established a "blind" set of round robin testing that included all in plant labs as well as some labs from other manufacturers. They provided us and the other manufacturing sites with prepared tensile samples (I believe 5 for each parent coil of steel.) We pulled them, and reported our results back to Research, (ultimate tensile strength, 0.2 % offset yield strength, % elongation, sample thickness and sample width in the reduced section of the tensile specimen) who analyzed them and prepared a report comparing labs to each other and to the requirements expressed by ASTM E8 for tensile testing. I had two different tensile testing machines I wanted to have included in the study (my 2 primary use machines - I had a 3rd as backup all 3 were maintained in working order and in calibration). So I reported two sets of results back to Reasearch. I believe at leats one of the other labs used 2 different tensile testing machines as well, and research could have used significantly more than 2, but I believe they used 2 as well. Total number of machine/technician pairs was about 10 if memory serves correctly. I believe the report method was based upon ASTM E691, Std. Practice for Conducting an Interlaboratory Study to Determine the Precision of a Test Method

Hopefully, this helps a bit, though it's more vague than I'd like due to the passage of time and a job change.
Seeing that their are no other labs available for the tests you're performing, I understand why A2LA accepted inhouse testing.
 
K

Ken K

#6
We have also been doing internal PT/ILC for the past five years. Our test schemes have been written per the guidelines in ISO/IEC Guide 43-1 and
43-2.

Our auditor has been very satisfied with how they have been written, performed and calculated. After each is completed, we are required to send the results to L-A-B for their files. I assume A2LA would require the same.
 
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