Proficiency testing: real and ready to test

IFM - profiency testing

Excellence can only be achieved and demonstrated through valid and meaningful challenges

Laboratories have a fundamental duty of care to provide accurate and meaningful results for every test conducted, on every sample. To achieve excellence in testing and thereby best ensure this duty of care is upheld, the test system must be subjected to comprehensive and realistic challenges. These challenges must afford laboratories the opportunity to provide true and valid demonstrations of the successful execution of test methods. Only through the application of technically and scientifically sound principles and processes will these demonstrations withstand robust scrutiny from a scientific, technical, or legal perspective.

When laboratories undertake PT that does not set appropriate and realistic challenges, laboratories and their customers may significantly compromise the health and wellbeing of others. Consequently, they risk their reputations, brands, consumer confidence, profits, and possibly face civil and criminal proceedings.

This is why the IFM Food Microbiology Scheme provides comprehensive and challenging samples which best reflect the challenges that must be successfully faced by laboratories every day.
IFM Food PT samples are specifically designed and manufactured to be real and ready to test. No vials, no tiny sample volumes, no single analyte programs, no additional preparation.

Quite simply, real foods provided in realistic volumes, ready to test

IFM Food Microbiology Proficiency Testing Scheme features

  • Real and ready to test food samples (Specifically designed and manufactured to give laboratories samples that offer the most realistic testing challenges)
  • Multiple (4) rounds per year (Provides laboratories with multiple quality assurance opportunities throughout each year)
  • Separately selectable pathogen and non-pathogen streams
  • Multiple (3) samples per round, per stream (Discourages assumptions or preconceptions regarding biological content of samples)
  • Every round provides a different food matrix; matrices vary from year to year (Stimulates interest and eliminates complacency which can occur when given the same matrix round after round)
  • Varying food matrices ensure broad and effective food chemistry challenges (Successful biological testing must duly consider the varied chemistry inherent in different foods under test)
  • Realistic sample volumes (pathogen: 130 g; non-pathogen: 25 g)
  • Comprehensive range of analytes (pathogen: 9; non-pathogen: 10)
  • Multi-organism combinations ensure effective method selectivity challenges
  • All listed analyses applicable to all samples
  • All, or any combination of listed analyses may be undertaken
  • Multiple result submissions at no additional cost (no limit) (To better ensure that all analysts and methods can be compared, giving a laboratory-wide picture of proficiency)
  • Additional sample sets available at a low per sample price (In support of no cost multiple result submissions)
  • Ensures end-to-end execution of test methods
  • Fewer programs, providing the best coverage and value for laboratories
  • Real food, real challenges, real proficiency


Working with you to achieve Excellence in Testing