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.
1. Collects information on external proficiency testing schemes operational in H & I laboratories affiliated to EFI and works to ensure their homogeneity and comparability
2. Is responsible for defining and revising EPT Standards for Laboratories
3. Makes recommendations concerning the organisation of EPT schemes and provides help and advice to new EPT schemes when requested
4. Defines and revises the Standards for Providers of EPT schemes in concordance with national and international standards
5. Identifies regions lacking EPT schemes and develops strategies to serve these areas
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 (2018):
Region 1 – Scandinavia – Helle Bruunsgaard
Region 2 – Benelux – Yvonne Zoet
Region 3 – UK + Ireland – Deborah Pritchard
Region 4 – Germany – Falko Heinemann
Region 5 – Central Europe – Martin Petrek
Region 6 + 11 – France + Switzerland – Position fulfilled
Region 7 – Italy – Francesca Quintieri
Region 8 – Balkans + Israel – Anastasiya Mihaylova
Region 9 + 10 – Iberia – Antonio Balas
Region 99 – Outside Europe – Deborah Pritchard
The function of the EPT Regional Coordinators is to liaise with their respective Regional Commissioners to ensure conformance with the EPT Standards. EPT Coordinators shall advise and support EFI accredited laboratories, those laboratories actively seeking EFI accreditation and EPT Organisers to meet these standards.
The EPTC has started a register of EPT programs. H&I EPT Providers were requested to register on the EFI database. This registration established a list giving an overview of EPT programs for H&I laboratories. The list is updated at regular time intervals.
The EFI Standards in version 7.0 comprise a separate Section D (External Proficiency Testing) containing the EPT Standards for H&I laboratories. These Standards are reviewed at least annually by the EPTC for updates. In addition, the EPTC has formulated the Standards for EPT Providers which are also updated at regular time intervals.
The EPTC provides assistance and education for developing EPT programs. A special focus lies on the regions lacking EPT schemes which are mandatory for EFI accreditation. In such exceptional cases labs may organize inter-laboratory exchanges of samples to check if they perform H&I diagnostics in a comparable manner.
The EPTC has created a Manual for inter-laboratory exchanges (which you can find here).
A special “Meet the EPT Experts” session as part of the annual EFI conference is organized by the EPTC. In this session all regional EPT representatives are present for discussion with the audience. Topics of special interest for the EPT in H&I field will be addressed.
For additional information/consultation please contact the EPTC Chairperson.
Falko Heinemann, Chair of the EPTC, July 2018
For the names of the committee members please click here.