General Chemistry

General Chemistry

The General Chemistry Division of the SKML organizes a score of schemes within medical laboratories in the field of general chemistry. For information about the individual schemes you can click on the relevant buttons on this page. Using the “Specifications” button on the Homepage you can find out in which scheme an analyte for which you are searching has been included. Requests to participate in a scheme are handled by the SKML-office. The SKML-office also provides general information about the organization of the schemes, the Q-base system via which the results are submitted and the costs of participation. Invoicing is also carried out by the SKML-office.

Design of the Schemes

The design for the majority of the schemes is identical and is based upon a yearly cycle with annually-related sets of 12 or 24 samples. The sample material is commutable, wherever possible, and the annual set covers the relevant analytical range. The target values of the samples are, where possible using the principles of metrological traceability, set according to JCTLM-accepted reference methods by JCTLM-accepted reference laboratories. Additionally (and also where reference methods are not available) method specific consensus values are used. Reporting occurs at three levels of information communication. There is a continuous intermediate report accessible on demand by the user. Secondly, the participant is sent an electronic report quarterly. Lastly, at the completion of the yearly cycle an annual report is sent with correctness, precision and linearity together with scores based on biological variation and state-of the art.


  • The primary objective of the General Chemistry Division is the performance assessment of individual laboratories based on criteria derived from biological variation. Assessment occurs with respect to the methods specific to, more or less, the instrument group, as well as with respect to all the participating labs. The “Poor Performer Policy” of this division aims to improve the poor performance of individual laboratories.
  • In addition the design of the schemes is set up so that the performances of the analytical methods can be compared and poorly performing methods can be identified. The “Poor Method Policy” of this division is designed to encourage the developers of underperforming methods to improve their methods.
  • Moreover, the design is such that parameters wherein the entire field performs poorly (large interlab variation) can be identified. The “Poor Analyte Policy” of this division aims, via education, scientific research, harmonization projects and the provision of reference materials, to improve the quality of poorly measured parameters.
  • Transfer of knowledge is promoted by the submission of annual reports and the organization of participant meetings.
  • The managerial organization of the division is such that the quality of the schemes are controlled: a) there is a multi-year management plan supplemented with an annually drafted year plan, b) the schemes coordinator provides accountability to the division management at the end of the yearly cycle and c) the division provides an annual report to the general management team of the SKML.
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