Course of a Proficiency Testing Series

The substantial steps from registration until the final report will be explained in the following section.


Participation in the PT scheme is treated anonymously and confidentially. The names of the participants will not be listed in the reports. Moreover, names and mailing addresses will not be passed on unless the participants explicitly agree to do so. All results are treated strictly confidential. A letter code is randomly assigned to each participant in the final report. Each laboratory receives only its own letter code.

Ordering of samples

The completed registration form should be sent to us by two weeks before the dispatch date. There is also the possibility to register online.

Sample dispatch

The samples are mailed to the participants with an express parcel service (DPD or EMS). Within Europe, the sample packages are usually delivered within two to five working days. The delivery time for packages into non-EU countries does not consider times for customs clearance. The exact dispatch dates are listed in the date outline (programme) and in the registration form.

The samples are shipped cooled in disposable cooling boxes.

Analysis of samples

Selection of the analytical method and the number of replicate measurements are completely up to the participants. If analytical standard methods are suggested in the announcement, it is possible to replace them by equal or better methods. For all other parameters, use the methods applied in routine analysis.
There are no limitations regarding the number of analysed parameters. The decision, how many parameters will be analysed, is made by the participants.

Although we check the stability of the samples by measurements within each round, we recommend analysing the samples as soon as possible upon receipt. This recommendation particularly applies to less stable parameters like e.g. ammonium, phosphate, nitrite, DOC, mercury and silver. In any case the samples are to be kept cooled and in the dark until analysis.

Reporting results to the IFA-Tulln

The results must be transmitted to the IFA-Tulln within four weeks after sample dispatch. The closing date of each round is mentioned in the schedule and in the instruction letter attached to the samples. The results can be transmitted by FAX or e-mail using the result form, which will be sent together with the samples. The result forms of the current rounds are also available here. For each parameter and sample we require and evaluate only one result together with its uncertainty.

Since we will publish the reference values on our website (reports) after the closing date for the results, we cannot consider results submitted afterwards. Thus, please make sure that your results arrive at the IFA-Tulln before the closing date.

Previous topic Description Home Reports Next topic