December 2014

ATCC to provide Proficiency Testing programs through partnership with LGC

ATCC, the premier global biological materials resource and standards organization, and LGC, a leading global producer and distributor of reference materials and proficiency testing (PT) programs, announce a new agreement to provide high-quality proficiency testing programs supporting the food, beverage, animal feed, and pharmaceutical quality control markets in the United States.

As part of its ongoing mission to acquire, authenticate, preserve, develop, standardize, and distribute biological materials, ATCC has partnered with LGC, an international leader in laboratory services, measurements standards, and reference materials, to supply a broad range of both microbiological and chemical proficiency testing programs. The programs offered through this agreement support a variety of sectors, such as food microbiology, food chemistry, sugar, chocolate, meat and fish, water microbiology, animal feed, and pharmaceuticals. With a number of U.S. laws and regulations, including the Food Safety Modernization Act, requiring food and drug manufacturers to ensure product safety and quality through routine testing, proficiency testing has become a critical component of method validation for U.S. laboratories seeking or maintaining accreditation.

"ATCC is working to provide U.S. laboratories with the resources they need to ensure accurate and reproducible results as part of their quality assurance programs. This extended partnership with LGC allows ATCC to provide food and pharmaceutical quality control laboratories with a broader range of PT programs that are critical to ensure the safety of foods and drugs," says Willem Folkerts, Vice President, Sales and Marketing at ATCC. "This collaboration leverages proficiency testing samples derived from high quality ATCC materials with a timely and cost effective reporting capability."

"LGC is committed to supporting the international scientific community by providing our partners and customers with solutions that enable them to deliver the highest quality analytical results. Our expanded relationship with ATCC will support scientists working in the area of food and pharmaceutical safety, by providing PT schemes which give direct and independent feedback on laboratory performance," stated Euan O’Sullivan, Managing Director of the Standards Division at LGC. "Not only are the schemes accredited to ISO/IEC 17043, but we provide one of the most comprehensive portfolios of schemes, and some of the fastest report turnaround times available in the industry."

Proficiency testing is a significant component in the laboratory accreditation process as it allows laboratories to monitor the quality of their analytical results as stipulated in ISO/IEC 17025. There are a number of benefits to participating in proficiency testing, including monitoring and improving measurements, demonstrating analytical competence, developing and training analysts, and the
validation of methods and instruments. Further, regular participation in a proficiency testing program provides an external independent tool for monitoring the effectiveness of methods employed in any laboratory.