This page belongs to: National Measurement Institute

Proficiency testing services

We are an internationally recognised proficiency testing (PT) provider for chemical and gas measurements. PT is a valuable external quality control tool for laboratories.

We evaluate your laboratory’s performance against pre-established criteria, using inter-laboratory comparisons.

We provide independent evidence to determine the validity of your measurements, and to help improve your overall performance.

This includes:

  • offering studies for a wide range of tests and matrices combinations
  • performing rigorous statistical analysis on submitted results
  • providing detailed reports and tailored feedback to participating laboratories.

What you can expect from participating in our PT studies 

By participating in our studies, you can:

  • fulfil the ISO/IEC 17025 requirements for your laboratory
  • improve your laboratory’s performance in terms of the accuracy of chemical and gas measurements
  • evaluate and compare methods and procedures used in chemical and gas measurements 
  • identify problems with equipment, sample preparation or data processing procedures
  • identify training needs
  • instil confidence in staff, management and external users of your laboratory service
  • assess the practical application of measurement uncertainty
  • use PT samples for method validation or as control samples in your daily routine analyses.

2024 proficiency testing schedule 

We have scheduled the following tests for chemical and gas proficiency testing.

March

April

May

June

July

August

August/September

September

 September/October

October

November

December 

Any time rapid PT study

  • Rapid PT studies can be carried out at any time during the year. 
  • Participants can design their own study.
  • The performance summary report will be sent to participants no later than 5 working days after the results submission date.
  • Participation in these studies will allow laboratories to fulfil the needs of ISO/IEC 17025. The studies can also be used for method validation, to train new staff or as a tool for corrective action. 
  • Ask for a catalogue for more details and to check the schemes offered for this program.

For more details please see NMI rapid PT studies.

Gas proficiency testing

We provide gas PT services in areas of strategic importance to Australia. Our PT samples are based on unique gas compositions with studies examining:

  • pipeline natural gas from South-Eastern Australia
  • LNG (from the North West Shelf and from processed coal seam gas)
  • coal mine safety.

Participating isn’t just important for laboratories. It also provides confidence during custody transfers for refineries and pipeline operators. 

We also offer preparative PT studies for the specialty gas industry.

We aim to coordinate a new area of study each year based on participants’ requests. Email gas@measurement.gov.au to suggest a new gas mixture to add to our testing schedule.

Chemical proficiency testing 

We provide PT for a range of sectors including environment, agriculture, food and law enforcement. 

We select the analytes and matrices for our PT studies based on participants’ needs and requests. A study can include up to 60 analytes at both high and low levels. 

Our programs are accredited to ISO 17043 cover a wide range of tests:

  • illicit drugs 
  • organic contaminants including pesticides and hydrocarbons
  • dissolved, total and acid extractable metals 
  • physical properties
  • inorganic non-metallic constituents 
  • photosynthetic pigments
  • agricultural soil properties like colwell-p.

We aim to coordinate a new area of study each year based on participants’ requests. Email proficiency@measurement.gov.au to suggest a new matrix or analyte to add to our testing schedule.

How it works

  • We prepare, homogenise and characterise the test samples.
  • We use reference methods to provide assigned reference values traceable to the International System of Units for selected challenging analytes.
  • We collate, statistically analyse and interpret the results returned by participants.
  • We prepare a comprehensive report and distribute it to participants. 
  • We provide advice and educational feedback.
  • We send performance summary reports and longer-term historical reports to each participant.

Apply

Before applying, read the:

  • Study protocol to find out how the program operates.
  • Statistical manual to find out how we interpret the results and score participants. 

Documents updated 06/11/2023

Terms and conditions

Read the term and conditions for participating in one of our studies.  

Fees

For Proficiency testing prices, please email proficiency@measurement.gov.au 

Previous proficiency test reports

Proficiency test reports 2023

The National Measurement Institute is an internationally recognised accredited proficiency testing provider. These are the final reports from our 2023 chemical proficiency testing program.

Proficiency test reports 2022

The National Measurement Institute is an internationally recognised accredited proficiency testing provider. These are the final reports from our 2022 chemical proficiency testing program.

Proficiency test reports 2021

The National Measurement Institute is an internationally recognised accredited proficiency testing provider. These are the final reports from our 2021 chemical proficiency testing program.

Proficiency test reports 2020

The National Measurement Institute is an internationally recognised accredited proficiency testing provider. These are the final reports from our 2020 chemical proficiency testing program.

Proficiency test reports 2019

The National Measurement Institute is an internationally recognised accredited proficiency testing provider. These are the final reports from our 2019 chemical proficiency testing program.

Proficiency test reports 2018

The National Measurement Institute is an internationally recognised accredited proficiency testing provider. These are the final reports from our 2018 chemical proficiency testing program.

Was this page helpful?

Was this page useful?
Yes
No
Neither

Thank you for your feedback!

Would you like to tell us more about your experiences with this page? (optional)

Feedback you provide will not be directly answered. If you require a reply, please reach out to the page contact directly. For any other queries, please use our general enquiries web form.

Please do not include personal or financial information (e.g. email addresses, phone numbers or credit card details).

Your feedback is covered by our privacy policy.