Proficiency testing in the light of a new rationale in metrology

Kaj Heydorn

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


The novel proposed definition of measurement result in the international metrology vocabulary requires a revision of standards and guidelines for proficiency testing (PT), and a new approach to processing proficiency data is needed to test the ability of laboratories to present not only unbiased quantity values, but reliable estimates of their uncertainty. Hence, an accepted reference value with the smallest possible uncertainty is needed to ascertain the proficiency of laboratories reporting results with lower than average uncertainty. A strategy based on the T-statistic is proposed leading to an accepted reference value that fully reflects the uncertainties reported by participants in a PT scheme and permits calculation of En-numbers to distinguish whether or not measurement results are consistent with the accepted definition of the measurand. The strategy is applied to PT data from a recent international laboratory intercomparison of uranium isotopic ratios.
Original languageEnglish
JournalAccreditation and Quality Assurance
Issue number4-5
Pages (from-to)217-222
Publication statusPublished - 2008


  • T-statistic
  • En numbers
  • Proficiency testing
  • Data processing strategies
  • Synthesis of precision


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