The Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS) launched this year’s Inter-Laboratory Comparison program used to demonstrate competency and validate laboratories’ measurement processes for a particular measurement discipline. The development is aimed at supporting the ever-growing laboratory infrastructure in the country, in line with the UNBS mandate of enhancing competitiveness through standardization and conformity assessment.
Inter-laboratory comparison (ILC) refers to the evaluation of a participant laboratory’s performance against pre-established criteria by comparing the participant laboratory’s results to the results of other participant laboratories in the same ILC round. According to ISO/IEC 17043:2010 Conformity assessment — General requirements for proficiency testing, an Inter-Laboratory Comparison is the organization, performance, and evaluation of measurements or tests on the same or similar items by two or more laboratories in accordance with predetermined conditions.
This year (2023), 10 matrices will be tested and these include; Maize flour, UHT Milk, Potable Water, Non-carbonated soft drinks, Cosmetics, Roasted Coffee, Paint, Animal feeds, Cement and Steel bars. This round of ILC exercise is highly recommended for all public/private commercial testing laboratories including laboratories within manufacturing facilities that fall under the scope of the ILC irrespective of size.
This is because the ILC program provides a quality assurance tool to laboratories for comparing performance and taking necessary remedial action to facilitate improvement, with the aim of producing accurate and reliable test results. All interested laboratories/institutions are encouraged to register for participation by filling the ILC registration form 2023 available on the UNBS website and submit the filled UNBS ILC registration form to the ILC Coordination desk via email@example.com by September 30.
Participating in ILC programs helps businesses by providing laboratories with an opportunity to boost the level of competence and confidence of their laboratory analysts and placing laboratories in a better position to acquire and maintain UNBS laboratory recognition. This means that test results from these recognised laboratories are accepted in guiding a product certification decision as UNBS implements the Uganda National Bureau of Standards (Certification) (Amendment) Regulations, 2022.
The Programs also prepares laboratories to meet accreditation requirements in regards to ensuring quality of test results. These benefits above will in turn have Consumers access better, safe and quality products and services given that results are from credible laboratories.