Clinical Microbiology Proficiency Testing programme 2022

Clinical Microbiology Proficiency Testing (CMPT) has been a program of the University of British Columbia since 1983.  First envisioned by John Angus Smith and Robin Barteluk as an alternative to importing samples across international borders, the primary goal was to provide clinical microbiology samples for laboratories primarily in the south-west corner of British Columbia, and a few other locations.

Under the direction of its first chair, Michael Noble, CMPT rapidly expanded to providing samples for all medical laboratories in British Columbia, and then across Canada and beyond. CMPT now provides samples and services in Europe, South America and the Caribbean.

CMPT is a samples based program rather than a microbial based program.  Samples are complex, highly realistic and clinically relevant. CMPT samples contain host elements as well as targeted pathogens. Slides for Gram stain examination typically contain neutrophils, lymphocytes, red blood cells, epithelial cells, as well as background protein.
CMPT does not created lyophilized white powder, but rather provide samples that look and act like urine, sputum, wound swabs, blood cultures, joint fluid, and cerebrospinal fluid.

By focusing on sample realism we are able to maintain clinical relevancy as we evolve in new directions.

Based on the organism and substrate similarities CMPT developed an EQA program for laboratories that test drinking and recreational waters for bacterial content.  including samples that simulate sludge for examination for pathogens including Salmonella. CMPT water testing laboratory program now serves a base of national and international laboratories.

Not all laboratory assessible challenges involve technical handling of samples. Problems in pre-examination and post-examination and para-examination (safety, Quality assurance, Quality Control) frequently arise. reCMPT is a leader in the development of Paper and Video challenges that are designed to monitor performance in these areas critical to laboratory performance as required by international standards including ISO15189.

Every sample results report provides a strong education oriented report.  For our category B, C, and C1 programs our "critiques" are rated on regular customer satisfaction surveys as their main and most significant source of continuing education information and materials.  If Quality Assurance is the first goal, education and knowledge transfer is at least equal.

CMPT provides assistance to other EQA programs, particularly in developing regions to help them develop their own EQA programs rather than rely on receiving samples from programs that require international shipping that is complicated by Transport of Dangerous Goods regulations.

CMPT over 37 years has evolved to the point where it meets and provides all the expectations of a university based proficiency testing program.  CMPT provides Service, Education, Quality Assessment, Research, and Development and Training. Our goal is to continue on all fronts and expand its offerings in new and novel ways. 


As of June 2022 Dr. Noble has changed his position with UBC and the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine.  He continues to be active in laboratory quality both within UBC and beyond.  

He was able to secure a donor along with the Department initiated a new position in UBC identified as the Donald Rix Professorship in Laboratory Quality.  The position was earned through competition by Dr. Lucy Perrone PhD who now heads CMPT and the Program Office.  

Congratulations to Dr. Perrone.

CMPT is committed to its Mission Statement: 

CMPT is proud that it's Quality System is annually certified to ISO9001: 2015
Quality Management

CMPT is proud that it is ACCREDITED to ISO IEC 17073:2010
Requirements for Proficiency Testing.

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