Objectives: International quality control (proficiency testing) programmes are instituted to safeguard the analytical performance of laboratories and to aid these laboratories in identifying sources of error in their analytical methods. We describe the first international quality control programme for antimicrobial agents that are frequently used in critically ill patients. Methods: Spiked plasma samples with ceftazidime, ciprofloxacin, flucloxacillin, piperacillin, sulfamethoxazole, N-acetyl sulfamethoxazole and trimethoprim were shipped to 22 laboratories from eight different countries. Acceptable accuracy by the performing laboratory was defined if measurements were within 80%-120% limits of the true weighed-in concentrations. Results: A total of 81% of the measurements (ranging between 56% and 100%, dependent on drug) were within the 80%-120% limits of the true weighed-in concentrations. Conclusions: We found a relatively good performance of the participating laboratories in measuring eight different antimicrobial drugs. Nevertheless, some of the antimicrobial drugs were not measured properly as up to 44% of the measurements was inaccurate depending on the drug. Our results emphasize the need for and utility of an ongoing quality control programme.