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General Questions
Where can I find the current catalog?

The current catalog is accessible on our website.

When will the new catalog be published?

The catalog for the following year is published at the end of September/beginning of October.

Where can I find the Terms & Conditions?

Our general terms and conditions for the INSTAND proficiency tests are published on our website

Our general Terms and Conditions for INSTAND Calibration Services are available on our website.

Proficiency Tests
Can I also register EQA schemes by telephone?

No. Registrations are only possible using our secure RV-Online portal. Registrations are only possible as per the registration and deregistration deadline stated in the current catalog (see also GTC point 5).

What happens if I cancel a proficiency test?

You may cancel a proficiency test up to the cancellation deadline specified in our current program catalogue without a penalty. After that date, INSTAND reserves the right to assess a cancellation fee and other related charges.

How do I order sample materials that may be infectious or related to a tuberculosis diagnosis proficiency test?

These samples are subject to special regulations. You must confirm that you are authorized to handle these samples or meet the necessary laboratory requirements. The corresponding verification must be approved regularly by all participants. If the RV-Online does not allow an order, please check in the area "master data→addresses and users→contact permit" whether we have a handling authorization on file. 

The handling authorization is mandatory for the following EQA schemes:

  • Bacteriology
  • Bacteriological infectious serology - Chlamydia trachomatis direct detection
  • Mycology
  • Mycoserology
  • Tuberculosis diagnostics
  • Virology.

 

How often do I have to participate in proficiency tests?

The regulations on compulsory participation are based on the Guidelines of the German Medical Association.

In our current catalogue on page 15 onwards ("List of parameters from the special parts B 1, B 2, B 3 and B 5 that are subject to the Rili-BÄK"), you will find a list of parameters and EQA schemes with the intervals of compulsory participation in the EQA scheme according to the Rili-BÄK. Independently of this, you can also obtain information from your Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians.

Can a proficiency test be repeated?

No. You must register for the next available proficiency test using our secure RV-Online portal.

When do the samples arrive?

The dates on which the samples are shipped are noted in the catalogue as "dispatch of samples". Please inform us immediately if you have not received the samples within one day after the respective shipping date specified in the registration confirmation. You can contact us by telephone (Tel: 0211-159213-0) or by E-mail at instand@instand-ev.de.

My sample did not arrive by the specified date. What do I have to do?

Please contact our customer service immediately by telephone (Tel: 0211-159213-0) or by E-mail (instand@instand-ev.de) if you have not received the sample(s) within one day of the dispatch date. Our customer service team will investigate and determine if a replacement delivery is possible.  Additional charges or fees may apply.

My order for infectious proficiency tests or proficiency tests for tuberculosis diagnostics has not arrived. What do I have to do?

Please contact our customer service immediately by telephone (Tel: 0211-159213-0) or by e-mail (instand@instand-ev.de). Provided that we have the obligatory handling permit on file, we will investigate in individual cases whether a replacement delivery is possible at an additional charge.

 Above concerns the following EQA schemes:

  • Bacteriology
  • Bacteriological infectious serology - Chlamydia trachomatis direct detection
  • Mycology
  • Mycoserology
  • Tuberculosis diagnostics
  • Virology.
I have not received any tracking information/tracking number. How can I track the shipment?

Before each delivery, our shipping service provider sends an E-mail with the corresponding tracking number to the primary user specified in the RV-Online portal. Please check your E-mail spam folder since shipping information may be sent from a different company.

 

I have noticed that my delivery address is no longer up to date. How can I update it?

You can change your address data in RV-Online portal. Please note the following:

If address changes are made after the registration deadline of the relevant EQAs, the new address will not automatically be applied to the current shipment. Please also contact us by E-mail at instand@instand-ev.de stating your participant number, the EQAS or dispatch date and the change requests in the address data. We will then check if the address can be changed manually for dispatch.

As stated in our General Terms and Conditions (points 3 and 8), we cannot guarantee this. The participant must keep all data (in particular delivery, invoice and certificate address) up to date and bears any cost due to outdated data.

Our customer service will - in consultation with you - try to find a solution.

I have seen in the tracking that my order was sent to an incorrect address. What do I have to do?

Please contact our customer service immediately. We will check in each case whether we can provide a replacement for the current shipment at a charge. Due to either an incorrect delivery address or delays at customs, or both, we are usually unable to replace returns from abroad.

Each participant can access and view all data in the RV-Online. He is responsible for updating all data when changes occur in the RV-Online. The participant shall bear any delays in delivery, returns, refusals of acceptance caused by incorrect delivery or invoice addresses, and Instand e.V. may additionally charge the participant for any additional costs incurred. (see also GTC items 3 and 8).

The sample for the proficiency test 218 and 172 is not included in my delivery.

EQA schemes 218 and 172 are digital EQA schemes. Only digital images are offered for these proficiency tests. As soon as they are available online, the primary user entered in RV-Online receives an e-mail with the corresponding link to the images. In the result input mask, these images can be enlarged by clicking on them. The shipment date serves as an indication of the availability of these proficiency tests. For further information, please refer to the catalogue.

A sample arrived broken. What should I do?

Broken samples must be disposed of properly like patient material. Contact our customer service by telephone (Tel: 0211-159213-0) or by E-mail (instand@instand-ev.de) to start a claim. We will then investigate  each case to determine whether we can supply a replacement at a charge (see also AGB point 8). We ensure to pack the samples professionally. The samples will be shipped by INSTAND ex-works (Incoterms 2010) via a transport company determined by INSTAND on the dates specified in the registration confirmation. After the samples have been handed over to the transport company, the risk of loss or damage shall pass to the participant.

Can I also send my results of the proficiency tests by fax?

No. We do not accept the transmission of EQA scheme results by fax. The entry of results is only possible via the RV-Online portal.

I missed the deadline. Can my result still be accepted?

No. Only measurement/examination results entered by the EQA participants by the closing date will be evaluated.

When will I receive the evaluation after entering my results?

Usually, 5-6 weeks after the closing date of the EQA scheme.

How do I receive the evaluation documents of my EQA schemes?

All evaluations are stored for you in RV-Online in the "Results" section. Currently, many evaluations are also sent by regular mail.

What do I have to consider if my delivery address is outside of Germany?

Before sending the first samples, please check whether you have the necessary import permits and customs clearances. Information on both of these can be obtained from your local customs office. In addition to the stated costs for shipping, customs fees and taxes may apply, which the participant must bear. (see also GTC point 8)

RV-Online
Do I have to re-register every year?

In the RV-Online, under the tab "Registration", you have the option of activating a subscription transfer for ordered proficiency tests for the following year. For the subsequent years, all ordered EQAs and dates will be transferred.

With the publication of the new annual catalogue, you will receive a confirmation of registration with an overview of the following year's ordered proficiency tests. Changes to this order can then be made until the respective registration/deregistration deadline of the EQAS.

Can I get an overview of my ordered EQA schemes?

In the RV-Online system, under the tab Registration -> Calendar Download, you can create a calendar file (ICS format) for each participant number with entries of your ordered EQA groups. The file includes registration/deregistration deadlines, dispatch dates and returns dates.

I cannot log in to RV-Online.

You can always log in to RV-Online using the E-mail address and password you have registered with us. Please contact our customer service by telephone (Tel: 0211-159213-0) or by E-mail (instand@instand-ev.de) if you no longer know your registration/access data.

The main user/email address of the primary user in RV-Online has changed

Please contact our customer service by E-mail (Instand@instand-ev.de).

I have forgotten my password from RV-Online.

Open the login page of RV-Online and click on the button "Reset password". You will then receive a one-time password to the E-mail address you entered. Please make sure that you spell your password correctly. Incorrect entry caused by typing errors will result in the following error: "E-mail address/password is incorrect." After successful registration, you will be asked to enter a new password. If you did not receive an E-mail, please check your spam folder. Under certain circumstances, E-mails sent by INSTAND are automatically blocked by your E-mail program. In this case, please contact your responsible IT department.

I want to register an additional user for my lab

Please log in to RV-Online with your access data. In the section "Master data/Addresses and users/User administration", you can add further "users" if you have received the corresponding release from your primary user/lab/institute/company. Please assign the rights for entering results, downloading certificates, and ordering accordingly for the new user and complete the process. The new user will receive a confirmation link and a one-time password to the e-mail address stored. After the first login, a unique password can be assigned.

 

I cannot see my current orders in RV-Online.

In RV-Online, go to the menu item "Registration →Registration".

In the top line, please check whether the current year is displayed. You will find the box "Show registered groups" on the right side of the same line. Please tick the box there and press the button "Filter".

If the currently ordered EQASs are not displayed, but only "Notes" appear, click on the two small arrows to the right of the term "Note".

In the left column, you can also display your ordered EQAs according to different focal points.

How can I enter my determined results in RV-Online?

In the RV-Online, you can enter, complete, and correct your results via the "Value entry" button. Please note that the value entry is possible from the date of shipment of the samples to the proficiency test's respective closing date. In the value entry area, all EQAs ordered for the current date are displayed. Here you can also view additional information on the individual proficiency test.

Can I still change my results that have already been submitted online?

You can edit your results in the RV-Online until the closing date. Results can be entered in RV-Online until 23:59 (MET) on the day of the closing. The last result entered will then be used for the evaluation. After the closing date, changes to the entries are no longer possible.

Units, methods, manufacturers and unit codes are already entered in the online input mask.

These are identical to the information you provided in the previous EQA scheme. For example, if you have a new device or use a new method, please give us the new code. To do this, you may have to "unlock" the view at the bottom left of the results entry to be able to change the methods/devices.

Can I send in multiple results from different machines?

For our proficiency tests, you can enter one result for each sample. You can submit results from different measurement methods in the fields of virology, bacteriological and parasitological infectious serology.

I forgot to declare my new device. Can I still do that after the EQA has expired?

No changes are possible after the results have been published.

Can I also receive evaluations of EQA schemes for which I have not sent in any results?

With our statistics module in the RV-Online, you can prepare a custom overview for quantitatively evaluated results.

After publishing the results, I saw that I had mixed up values or entered the wrong units when entering them. Can I correct these?

No changes are possible after the results have been published.

Certificate
As of when is the certificate valid?

A certificate is issued with the date of the closing date of the EQA scheme.

How long is a certificate valid?

Certificates for parameters subject to mandatory EQAS are valid for twice as long as the interval of the mandatory EQA. For non-Rili-BÄK parameters, the validity is usually 12 months.

Invoice/Prices
When will I receive the invoice?

Invoicing takes place after the samples have been sent or the digital images have been accessed. Invoice amounts are due within 30 days after receipt of the invoice (See item 12 GTC).

I have noticed that my billing address is no longer up to date. How can I change this?

If the billing address matches the ordering party's address, you can change the address in RV-Online in the Master Data/Addresses and Users/Ordering Party area.

If you have a different billing address, you must notify us of the change requests by e-mail to instand@instand-ev.de. In the E-mail, please state the participant number/client number and the complete billing address. Suppose the billing address differs from the participant's address in name, street and/or city. In that case, we must receive a cost coverage declaration in writing, including a company stamp and signature, from the invoice recipient before changing the billing address.

In future, we would like to receive our invoices by e-mail as PDF/ ZUGPFeRD/XInvoice. What do I have to do?

Please e-mail us at instand@instand-ev.de with the following information:

• Your subscriber number/client number

• Possibly: subscriber number of the invoice recipient/bill payer

• In which format you would like to receive the invoice (PDF, ZUGPFeRD, XInvoice)

• If the invoice is sent as a XInvoice, we also need the routing ID.

• E-mail address to which the invoices are to be sent. This e-mail address can also be a collective mailbox.

After switching to E-mail transmission, you will not receive paper invoices in the future.

We would like to have our internal order number/PO number on the invoice so that our accounting department can process the invoices. What do I have to do?

You can store your order numbers in the RV-Online in the "Registration" tab. Please note that currently, you can save only one order number per year. Please note that we cannot process orders, including order numbers, that reach us by e-mail. The participant must enter the orders, including the order number, in our RV-Online.

How can I pay the invoice?

By bank transfer, for German participants, we also offer the option of direct debit.

Is the price indicated in the catalogue per session or year?

The price stated in the catalogue always applies per EQA scheme date (except for ECAT EQA schemes, which are annual orders).

The catalogue mentions a price for an "additional set of samples", what is that?

If you need more than the volume of a sample specified in the catalogue, you can order additional sample material for many EQA schemes. There is no separate evaluation for the extra sample set.

On the invoice, interlaboratory comparisons are sometimes marked with (A) and sometimes with (B)?

EQA schemes subject to Rili-BÄK are subject to a reduced VAT rate of 7% in Germany. These EQA schemes are marked with (B). EQA schemes marked with (A) are subject to the standard VAT rate of 19%.

Can I deduct a discount from the invoice if I pay on time?

A discount may not be deducted. The invoices are payable without deductions.

Membership
How can I become a member of INSTAND?

Doctors and natural scientists can become members of INSTAND. Membership is by application and is established by the Board of Director's approval. You can fill out the membership application here.