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What is the Environmental Radioactivity Proficiency Test Exercise?

The Environmental PTE is accredited to ISO 17043, and ensures that the performance of spectroscopic techniques and radiochemical separation procedures adopted by participating laboratories are regularly assessed. Participation in the exercise has also become important for laboratories in this field to demonstrate ongoing compliance for UKAS accreditation.

A range of samples are made by NPL, with examples including an alpha sample, beta sample, gamma sample and a solid matrix. Laboratories choose which sample types are applicable to their measurement capabilities. The samples are dispatched to the participants, who are given approximately four months to analyse the samples and submit the results to us. NPL compiles an exercise report and provides feedback to the laboratories on their performance. The exercises are now run on an annual basis by NPL.  If you would like to find out how you can join the next Environmental PTE please contact us via the button below.

How to Participate 

Upcoming Exercise (2021)

Participation for the 2020 exercise is now closed. An invitation letter for the 2021 exercise will be released in the summer of this year. If you are not a preexisting customer and would like information on the upcoming exercise please register your interest here.

Current exercise (2020)

PTE 2021 Invitation Letter
Techniques Form
Reporting Information
Reporting Form

Past exercise and reports

The 2018 Environmental Radioactivity Proficiency Test Exercise (PTE 2018) is now complete and the final report NPL Report IR 57 is now available. Please note that reports on previous exercises are also available.

Results of the 2018 Environmental PTE were presented at the last UK National Conference on Applied Radiation Metrology (CARM) at NPL in January 2020.

For any queries and comments relating to the Environmental PTE scheme please contact us 


NPL also provide radioactive standards, calibrations and consultations. If you don’t see what you are looking for please contact us to discuss your requirements.

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