Proficiency Test Committee        
Chair Didier Demilly
Vice Sharon Davidson
Member Susanne Andersen
Christian Boehm
Sarah Dammen
Irena Gera
Monika Holubicová
Gillian Musgrove
Sergio Pasquini
Zita Ripka
Rita Zecchinelli
Observer Branislava Opra
ECOM liaison officer Rita Zecchinelli

The goal of the Proficiency Test Committee (PTC) is to strongly contribute to the uniformity and proficiency of seed testing worldwide. The standard PT program is a training tool for all ISTA member laboratories but it is also a monitoring tool for the performance of ISTA accredited laboratories. Participation in the PT program is mandatory for ISTA accredited laboratories for tests within their scope of accreditation. ISTA member laboratories that are not accredited can voluntarily participate in all or some offered tests, in order to evaluate and improve their testing competence. The Committee develops a triennial program for standard Proficiency Test (PT) on a wide range of species, covering all eight crop groups. Tests included are purity, other seed determination, germination, moisture determination, viability with tetrazolium analysis, vigour tests, as well as the exercise on completion of an ISTA Orange International Certificate. 

Committee members take turns being PT Leaders, under the supervision of the PTC Chair and with the assistance of the PT Coordinator from the ISTA Secretariat. They within their accredited laboratories prepare PT samples, according to a detailed standardized procedure.
Samples are distributed to participants from the ISTA Secretariat. Processing and reporting of results are confidentially handled by the PT Coordination. Prior to reporting, the statistical analysis is validated by the PTC Chair.

There is a range of results reported :
  • Heterogeneity results published on the website after the reporting deadline
  • Individual preliminary reports sent to each participant
  • Individual final reports sent to each participant and
  • Summary report with the test overview published at the website after completion of the PT round
The ultimate achievement of the PT Committee activity is close collaboration with other Technical Committee of ISTA in identifying the training needs for the ISTA community and possible improvements of methods published in the ISTA Rules.

More information about the ISTA Proficiency Test Programme can be found here.


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