An alternative assessment procedure (AAP) is a procedure that may be incorporated into the proficiency testing (PT) and quality assessment (QA) plans to determine or confirm the reliability of test methods and acts as an additional monitor of ongoing patient test accuracy.
AAPs may be utilized:
- when commercial PT is not available
- if available PT does not fully meet the needs of the laboratory (as determined by the PT plan)
- for an unregulated analyte whether or not commercial PT is available
- for a test method/analyte for which PT is not required
AAPs are incorporated into the laboratory's PT plan and monitored as a part of the QA plan, ensuring the required elements of the PT process are fulfilled. An AAP may NOT replace available commercial PT for regulated analytes but may serve as a primary PT method for nonproficiency testing-regulated analytes or a second test method for a regulated analyte.