What is a deviating sample?
UKAS guidance states that samples will be labelled as deviating if:
- no time or date of sampling has been supplied
- the sample is in the incorrect container or not been correctly preserved
- the container has been incorrectly filled
- the sample age exceeds the stability time.
If a sample is deviating, the validity of the results is in doubt. Received samples will be assessed at the laboratory, for each analysis. This will include the container(s), and its filling, preservation, age of sample, and all correct information supplied.
Samples that do not conform to these requirements will be highlighted as deviating on the reported analysis, or in extreme cases cancelled.
Stability times have been established from detailed laboratory tests or recognised sources (principally ISO-5667-3).
A stability time is the maximum time for stability for that determinand, in that matrix (sample type). A listing is available on request - please email email@example.com
Gross deviations will be cancelled, such as, a bacteriological sample received in a non-sterile bottle.