About Collaborative Testing Services
CTS was created in 1971 to meet the growing commercial demand for interlaboratory testing. The firm assembled a knowledgeable group of people with the expertise to guide the various aspects of interlaboratory programs. A cooperative effort among CTS, various trade associations, and the National Bureau of Standards (now called the National Institute of Standards and Technology) led to interlaboratory tests being offered by CTS in the areas of paper, containerboard and rubber. Over time, other industries came to recognize the value of this testing as well as the need to develop reliable test procedures. During the 1970s, CTS added color and forensic programs. The 1980s saw the establishment of a metals program, while the 1990s ushered in a testing program for plastics. Just prior to the start of the new millennium, CTS inaugurated interlaboratory tests for the wine industry. CTS' history of service to diverse groups has carried forward into the new millenium; in 2007 CTS started the Agriculture Laboratory Proficiency (ALP) Program.
For nearly 40 years numerous organizations have approached CTS to develop internal testing programs (e.g., to evaluate performance among multiple plant locations); a few of these grew into industry-wide programs. In other instances trade associations asked CTS to design programs for their industries. Finally, CTS has created tests to meet specialized needs, including ones to meet federal legislation, as well as proficiency tests for laboratory accreditation. Some programs have been discontinued as industry interest waned. Most programs, however, have stood the test of time and have decades of history to prove their worth to the laboratories, organizations and industries that participate.
All CTS testing programs have constantly evolved to reflect changes in test methods or methodology. Over time we have broadened our scope to include international test methods wherever possible. Correspondingly, CTS’ reputation for quality testing programs has also grown around the world. Today, nearly 25 percent of labs enrolled in CTS programs are located outside the United States. CTS is committed to helping organizations achieve and maintain excellence in measurement quality through interlaboratory testing. Meeting this commitment requires that we establish high standards in all aspects of our business from selecting test materials to maintaining test integrity to providing responsive customer service. Our own activities must be governed by the highest possible quality standards. Therefore, CTS maintains compliance with ISO Guide 43-1: 1997, Development and Operation of Laboratory Proficiency Testing Schemes, and ILAC-G13:2000, Guidelines for the Requirements for the Competence of Providers of Proficiency Testing Schemes. Both documents are complementary international guidelines designed specifically for interlaboratory and proficiency testing providers.