UGANDA – The Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS) has unveiled its second edition of the Inter-Laboratory Comparison (ILC) programme and called upon laboratory owners and institutions to participate, to ensure accuracy of their results.

The unveiling was done during an online stakeholder engagement organized by UNBS to encourage the industry to register and participate in the scheme. The Deputy Executive Director-Standards, Ms. Patricia Bageine Ejalu said that inter-laboratory comparisons are undertaken to verify that a laboratory provides correct results within the stated measurement uncertainty.

She added that the need for ongoing confidence in laboratory performance is not only essential for laboratories and their customers but also for other interested parties, such as regulators, laboratory accreditation bodies and other organizations that specify requirements for laboratories.

“Monitoring the quality of the analytical results, by using effective quality control tools, can help prevent good products being discarded and stop non-conforming products from being released to the market”, Ms. Ejalu said.

According to International Organization for Standardization, ISO/IEC 17043:2010, inter-laboratory comparison (ILC) is the organization, performance, and evaluation of measurements or tests on the same or similar items by two or more laboratories or inspection bodies in accordance with predetermined conditions.

The scope of the second round covers matrices of water, non-carbonated soft drinks, UHT milk, coffee, maize flour, and calibration measurement fields of pressure, temperature and mass. UNBS says that participation will be at a 50% discounted cost for chemistry and microbiology matrices. 

The first round of the ILC programme which was held in 2020, was free of charge. The only requirement was for laboratories’ operations to meet the relevant national and international standards

Participating in the Inter-Laboratory Comparison program is of great importance to laboratories because it shows competence of laboratories, attracting national, regional and international recognition. It also ensures quality control of manufactured goods along the supply chain.

In addition, it reduces technical barriers to trade by building confidence and trust in the supplier’s certificates where goods have to go through destination lab tests. It further ensures risk assessment and management and it facilitates investigations through a faster customer complaints and disputes handling process.

Participating laboratories are required to register by downloading the registration form on the website and submit the application via email by 20th October 2021.

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