The EU funded Trade Related Technical Assistance (TRTA II) Programme launched the National Proficiency Testing services in collaboration with the National Physical and Standards Laboratory (NPSL) under the Ministry of Science and Technology. These services are being launched as part of the efforts by the Ministry of Science and Technology to strengthen the Quality Infrastructure of Pakistan. The conference was conducted in Serena, Islamabad on January 16th 2014. The Chief Guest of the occasion was Dr. Sania Nishtar (SI), former Federal Minister Science & Technology.
The NPSL administers the need to set up this facility for certification of export commodities and consumer items thereby facilitating the export market and ensuring availability of safe food and other consumer items to the general public. Such a PT scheme is vital for the further development of the Quality Infrastructure in Pakistan in line with best international practices and will play a vital role in transforming Pakistan’s developing economy into a regional powerhouse.
Prior to this all the accredited laboratories carried out PT through participation in an international PT scheme, which is not only expensive (due to fees paid in dollars, euros etc.) but it also results in an outflow of foreign exchange. The PT scheme, therefore, aims to check whether overall performance of the laboratory reflects adherence to international requirements and hence recognize the gaps in performance needing improvements.
NPSL has already initiated the first PT round on physical and chemical testing of potable water. 14 laboratories participated and submitted their results. This process with not make PT participation more affordable but also sustain the accreditation of laboratories and recognize the competency of the laboratory to carry out a specific tasks. NPSL has also prepared their annual PT plan to accommodate microbiological analysis and food chemical analysis in future.
The proficiency testing services will also work towards achieving international recognition by conforming to ISO 17043:2010 standard for which NPSL will work closely with the Pakistan National Accreditation Council.
The conference was also attended by Mr. Kamran Ali Qureshi Federal Secretary Science & Technology, Mr. Bruno Valanzuolo, OiC UNIDO/CTA TRTA II, Ms. Roshan Ara, Development Advisor at the EU Delegation and respected international experts of the TRTA II program, Ms. Subadra Jayasinghe, Dr. Nirmala Pieris and Dr. Upali Samarajeewa.