Six analytical chemists from laboratories in Pakistan and Algeria gained new skills during a basic Proficiency Test course held at the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) Laboratory in Rijswijk, Netherlands from 9-13 May 2016. The expertise acquired by participants can contribute to their institutions qualifying to join the prestigious OPCW Designated Laboratories network.
Currently, 19 Designated Laboratories across the world are certified by the OPCW to analyse samples collected during the Organisation’s inspections. To gain the status of Designated Laboratory, institutions have to pass a Proficiency Test administered by the OPCW Laboratory.
“Our laboratory has participated in two OPCW Proficiency Tests so far. In that process, some problems and questions emerged, which have now been addressed during the demonstrations and discussions during the course. This will certainly help us to prepare for the future Proficiency Tests,” said one of the participants. Most attendees expressed hope that the OPCW Laboratory would expand its training activities and provide continuous support to the laboratories seeking the OPCW designation.
During the course, participants practised various analytical techniques and learnt about sample preparation methods that meet the standards expected during ProficiencyTests.
The training was run by experts from the OPCW Laboratory and was supported by OPCW’s International Cooperation Branch under its capacity building programme for laboratory assistance. The programme responds to the needs of OPCW States Parties to develop the competencies of analytical chemistry institutions. To better serve these needs, the OPCW Laboratory launched its Proficiency Test courses in 2015.
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