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14th VDB Proficiency Testing 2021 - Analysis of Total Spore Count from Indoor Air Samples Sample Sharing of Mounted Slides

01/07/2021 bis 30/11/2021 in in the respective laboratory

Beginn: no time
Ende: no time
Veranstaltungsort: in the respective laboratory
Kosten:

For participants from Germany, the proficiency testing fee is €490.00 (net) plus 19% VAT.  

For participants outside of Germany, the registration fee is €580.00 (net) plus 19% VAT.

If a slide should not be returned or if it should be damaged, we will charge €500.00 (net) for a lost slide to the laboratory. 

For each commenced week in which a slide has not been returned, we charge €85.00 (net) to the laboratory.

Conditions and Terms of the 14th VDB Proficiency Testing Sample Sharing of Mounted Slides

Registration will only be accepted by using the application form. 

The deadline for applications to participate in the proficiency testing is 15 June 2021.

The registration is considered binding after the registration confirmation has been sent.  

The evaluation of the proficiency testing will be carried out anonymously.  

Strategies for a Smooth Operation of the 14th VDB Proficiency Testing

Sample Exchange of Mounted Slides

The success of the proficiency testing for all participants depends largely on staying on schedule and sending the slides back safely to the specified reference laboratory. To ensure that everybody will stay on schedule, we take the liberty of charging those laboratories an additional fee that deviate from the agreed upon schedule. For each commenced week in which a slide has not been returned, we charge €85.00 (net) to the laboratory.

The slides that have been prepared for the proficiency testing represent a considerable financial investment. If a slide should not be returned or if it should be damaged, we will charge €500.00 (net) for a lost slide to the laboratory. A slide is considered to be “lost” once it is overdue for three weeks. Note: If it can be verified that the slide went missing in the mail, the affected laboratory will not be liable.

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Each participant will receive a fully prepared mounted slide. The shipment includes a cover letter and an evaluation table in an Excel spreadsheet, which shows which fungal spores are to be analyzed in this 14th Proficiency Testing. 

Prior to being shipped to the participating laboratories, each sample will have been analyzed by three reference laboratories. The analysis is to be carried out following DIN ISO 16000-20 and the detailed instructions of the procedure descriptions by the head of proficiency testing, for example, regarding the slide to be used and the presentation of the results. Other procedures will not be considered. The results of the participants will be scored in comparison with the results of the reference laboratories. The reference samples are prepared by Chris Grundlach (Wartig Nord), Michael Mehring (Sachverständigenbüro Richardson), and Dr. Christoph Trautmann (Umweltmykologie Berlin). 

From a scientific perspective, the proficiency testing will be evaluated by Dr. Thomas Gabrio.

All participants of the proficiency testing will receive a confirmation of participation. For a “successful participation” in proficiency testing, a certificate will be issued when the participants correctly identified the specified spore types within the range of the mean values set by the reference laboratories. 

The evaluation of the results is based on criteria weighted by relevance and the count of individual types of spores. For the 13th Proficiency Testing, for example, points were awarded using the scaled score system shown below. In this way, among other things, it is possible to consider that the visual field of the proficiency testing participants may differ from each other in the different areas of the trace along the length and thus the counting of spores may be associated with an additional random error.

Table 4: Evaluation of participation in proficiency testing by points

Sporentyp

+30% Abweichung vom Sollwert

+40% Abweichung vom Sollwert

+45% Abweichung vom Sollwert

Typ Aspergillus/ Penicillium außer Typ Aspergillus glaucus-Komplex und restrictus-Komplex

5

3

1

Typ Aspergillus glaucus-Komplex und restrictus-Komplex

5

3

1

Summe aller Aspergillus und Penicillium Conidien

5

3

2

Participants with at least 7 points will have successfully participated in the proficiency testing.

Note: The spores to be identified and the final evaluation scheme will only be finalized once the slides have been analyzed by the reference laboratories. It is expected that there will be spores of Aspergillus/Penicillium, Cladosporium, and Stachybotrys.

Procedure of 14th VDB Proficiency Testing 2021

After a confirmed registration, each participant will receive a participant number. The samples and corresponding results will be managed anonymously under this participant number as a sample number.  

With this number, a given participant can schedule a week — in which the laboratory can carry out the analysis — in a Doodle calendar, which is provided specifically for the sample sharing. If a complete week has already been booked by another participant, this week will be blocked and the participant must choose from other weeks still available. The samples will be shipped on schedule by courier and picked up again after four days.

Note: There will be several different slides used in the proficiency testing. The slides will have been analyzed by the reference laboratories in advance and will therefore already have been stained and covered with a sealed cover slip. After microscope analysis, participants are not allowed to clean the slide or to make any changes to the slide. Before the slides are shipped to another participant, the slides will be professionally cleaned and checked for inadequacies by the reference laboratories. This procedure guarantees that all laboratories will receive a similar sample.

For the proficiency testing, the period from 01 July to 30 November 2021 has been scheduled.

The presentation of the participants’ results will only be shown in the provided registration form (Excel spreadsheet). Individual displays of results, including PDFs, will not be considered. The results are to be entered into the provided registration form and sent to the VDB office within 14 days. Prior to the start of the proficiency testing, the preparation team will provide a video conference in which specific problems will be discussed that need to be addressed regarding the analysis of the slides.

 


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