Celebrating 25 years of Food Microbiology Proficiency Testing
The QMS Proficiency Testing (PT) scheme first began 25 years ago, and had a very humble start in life, originally sharing premises with a manufacturer of under-wired bras!
Back then reporting was done on an Analyst Request Form (ARF) which was sent out with the samples and then the data was posted back or faxed in. But in 2009, Proficiency Online Reporting and Trend Analysis (PORTAL) was introduced, providing secure, web based reporting, with fast access to results submission, reports and interactive trending tools across all LGC PT schemes.
QMS has since established itself as a market-leader in terms of sample range, number of participants and geographical spread. Fortunately the environment has also improved for the better, as we moved into new custom-built premises in 2012.
QMS offers a comprehensive programme of microbiology PT samples, covering a full range of microorganisms of interest to the food and dairy industries, including pathogens, indicator organisms and spoilage organisms. Our participants appreciate the frequency and flexibility of our PT schemes, along with the user-friendly reports and rapid reporting times.
LGC was one of the first UK PT providers to gain UKAS accreditation in July 2002 and our accreditation number is 0001.
During the past 25 years, the microbiology production team in Bury have prepared and tested over a million PT samples. The scheme continues to grow steadily as shown in the graph below, and in 2016, QMS sample sales hit 20,000 for the first time in its history.
Lots of the ideas for new samples and matrices come from our participants, and we would like to thank you for all your feedback and loyalty over the years. Please keep your suggestions coming and here’s to the next 25 years…