What is interlab proficiency testing?

Interlaboratory proficiency testing is a method of measuring and improving the accuracy and reproducibility of analytical beer testing.

Members are sent identical, homogenous samples 4 times a year.  They measure and report results back to BIRA, where results are compared statistically, and a report generated for each member, quantifying their accuracy in comparison to their peers.  

Proficiency testing is a cornerstone of quality assurance, and can help identify issues, and demonstrate the reliability of results.

Who is involved?

Rounds 3 & 4 are the second set of rounds for the scheme, and so far we've received interest from 27 breweries and brewing labs.  The founding committee was established at the 2017 CBIA conference, and includes:

Clare Clouting - Secretary / QA Manager

Jon Seltin - Chair/Website officer

Daniel McCulloch - Treasurer / Technical officer

Greg Howell - Logistics Coordinator

Thomas Parker - Statistics and Reports Manager

Luke Warner - Reports and Statistics Advisor

Wilson Hede - Technical Officer 

Ash Hazell - Technical Officer 

Eric Wilkes - Scheme Advisor 

What does it cost?

AU$75 for 2 rounds (6 months) of testing.  Costs include sample delivery within Australia, and individual reports.

...But I don't have a Lab...

That's fine!  you're able to submit results only for the types of analysis you routinely conduct in the brewery - for example if you are only routinely measuring extract and ABV, you are able to submit results for these analytes only.

What testing procedure will be used?

BIRA will use Youden charts - each analyte is measured twice in two seperate samples, with results published in easy-to-interpret charts, highlighting both the inter-laboratory reproducibility, but also any systematic inside-laboratory errors.

What other activities will BIRA undertake?

BIRA will hold annual meetings to discuss issues related to beer analysis and proficiency testing, and to promote member engagement.