## Abstract

In proficiency testing (PT), it is difficult to set rational criteria for determining target values and allowable limits. In Japan, the largest national PT program has for the past 8 years used an evaluation scheme based on a “common coefficient of variation” (cCV) to overcome this difficulty. The cCV, the average within-method variation, is derived by one-way analysis of variance from data of peer groups after excluding those with large variations. A unit interval used for grading participants is obtained by multiplying the cCV by the peer-group mean which is computed using an iterative method featuring repeated removal of a large portion of the tails of the distribution and reinflation of the standard deviation (SD) to compensate for the trimming. The evaluation scheme gives a relatively better grade to those participants in peer groups with small CVs, compared to use of individual peer-group CVs. The scheme has expedited the transition to more reproducible methods, resulting in a notable overall improvement in laboratory performance. The cCV evaluation scheme is uniformly applicable to any analyte measured quantitatively. The iterative method, an integral part of the scheme, effectively precludes bias in the evaluation.

## Comments (0)