Laboratory experts in Tanzania have been urged to produce correct and reliable results from their laboratories to justify customers’ trust hence facilitate market access and trade and foster economic development.

Opening a five day National Workshop on Quality Assurance and Competence in Testing Laboratories at the Blue Pearl Hotel in Dar es Salaam, the Tanzania Bureau of Standards Acting Director General, Mr Joseph Masikitiko said the cost of carrying analytical measurement is high and additional costs may rise from decisions made on the basis of incorrect test results, therefore it is very important to determine the correct test results and to be able to show that they are actually correct.

“If a test cannot be trusted then it has little value. Customers expect to trust the results reported, thus laboratory staff have a clear responsibility to justify the customer’s trust by providing the right answer which fits for purpose,” insisted Mr. Masikitiko, adding that for an analytical result to be fit for its intended purpose it must be sufficiently reliable that any decision based on it can be taken with confidence.

Mr. Masikitiko said while developed countries have made a significant achievement in laboratory quality system, developing countries like Tanzania are still facing a lot of challenges in this area, as there are a lot of gaps in the whole process of laboratory accreditation. He expressed his optimism that the workshop will assist in addressing these gaps.

The Acting Director General said TBS is already implementing laboratory quality systems according to ISO/ IEC 17025 in its seven laboratories namely Metrology, Textile/condom, Food Microbiology, Chemistry, Electrical, Mechanical, Building, and Construction Laboratory. The aim is to ensure that the laboratories obtain the competence required to produce unquestionable results.

During the workshop, which is sponsored by German Metrology Institute (PTB), participants are trained on ISO/ IEC 17025 requirements, control charts, calibration of analytical method including method validation and measurement uncertainty in analytical laboratory – all of which are important components in analytical laboratory wishing to verify its competence.