External Proficiency Testing (EPT) is a mandatory part of the EFI accreditation process for Histocompatibility and Immunogenetics (H&I) laboratories. The major goal of the EFI EPT Committee (EPTC) is to harmonise EPT for H&I affiliated with EFI.
The primary functions of the EFI EPTC are:
- Collects information on External Proficiency Testing schemes operational in European laboratories (affiliated to EFI) and works to ensure their homogeneity and comparability.
- Presents proposals concerning the organisation of EPT schemes.
- Provides help in setting up new national and regional EPT schemes by giving advice on organisational matters.
- Revises and proposes changes to the Standards for Laboratories and Providers of EPT schemes, for final approval by the EFI Executive Committee.
The EFI EPTC reflects activities covered by EFI Standards. Therefore, the EPTC is currently restricted to addressing issues related to Human Histocompatibility testing.
EPT Regional Coordinators (2012)
- Region 1 Scandinavia Helle Bruunsgaard
- Region 2 Benelux Ilias Doxiadis
- Region 3 UK + Ireland - Susan Corbin
- Region 4 Germany Falko Heinemann
- Region 5 Central Europe Martin Petrek
- Region 6 + 11 France + Switzerland Chantal Gautreau
- Region 7 Italy Francesca Quintieri
- Region 8 Balkans + Israel Elissaveta Naumova
- Region 9 + 10 Iberia Jose Vicario
- Region 99 South Africa Susan Corbin
The function of the EPT Regional Coordinators is to liaise with their respective Regional Commissioners to ensure conformance with the EPT Rules. EPT Coordinators shall advise and support EFI accredited laboratories, those laboratories actively seeking EFI accreditation and EPT Organisers to meet these rules.
The EPTC has worked for several years on an EPT "Approval Program" for providers of EPT schemes. This has been modelled on the EFI Laboratory Accreditation process. The "Approval Program" will consist of a manual, a checklist and a Packet for applicants containing all information regarding the complete process. However, checking the feasibility of the "Approval Program" revealed that it would be useful to have a register of EPT programs prior to the implementation of the "Approval Program".
H&I EPT Providers will therefore be requested to register on the EFI database. This registration aims to establish a list giving an overview of EPT programs for H&I laboratories and the EFI EPTC and to subsequently provide assistance and education for developing EPT programs. The "Approval" of EPT Providers by EFI will be a final goal in the future after implementation of the registration process which will be instigated as soon as possible using the EFI website.
For additional information/consulation contact Falko Heinemann (Chairperson EFI EPTC): falko.heinemann(at)uk-essen.de
The new EPT standards version 5.1 for Laboratories participating in EPT exercises and for Providers of EPT schemes have been approved by the EPTC. After approval of the EFI Executive Committee they will be accessible for download.
Falko Heinemann, Chair of the EPTC