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Quality control - Introduction
One of the key aspects of a laboratory’s quality management system is the planning and execution of quality control activities. Quality control is all about ensuring that the results produced by the laboratory on a day-to-day basis are of the required quality and are fit for purpose. There are a number of activities that laboratories can undertake which come under the heading of ‘quality control’. These activities can be subdivided into ‘internal quality control’ (IQC) and 'external quality assessment' (EQA). IQC is the focus of this section. EQA is covered in the section on proficiency testing. IQC is a set of operations carried out by laboratory staff as part of the measurement process. The results from IQC are used to determine whether the test method is operating correctly and, therefore, whether the results obtained from test samples can be released to the customer. EQA, in contrast, is generally organised by a third-party organisation and is used to provide an independent check on a laboratory’s performance. While IQC occurs on a daily basis and is used to accept or reject individual results/batches of results, EQA provides a periodic snapshot of the laboratory’s performance.
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Last modified on
26 January 2009.