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Plans for 2019 laboratory proficiency scheme revealed

Geotechnical testing specialist Geolabs has announced that it will run the Proficiency and Interlaboratory Proficiency Testing Scheme under a new format in 2019.

Geolab has run the biannual performance benchmarking programme that allows geotechnical laboratories to check a host of procedures using homogenous test materials since 2005.

Results from the scheme are confidential but participants can see how their results compare to others in the industry.

Following the last scheme in 2017, geotechnical testing laboratories were urged to get involved to ensure rigorous standards are being maintained following wide variation in results.

Commenting on the 2017 results, Association of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Specialists chairman Neil Parry commended laboratories for participating in the scheme. “The possibility of variations highlights the need for training and the rigorous application of standards within laboratories to ensure results are reliable and provide robust parameters for design,” he said.

In previous years the scheme has involved up to 27 tests with all laboratories participating but Geolabs has said that under the new scheme tests will be run as long as there are a minimum of six laboratories participating with a phased approach to testing.

It is expected that there will be five phases of testing with each focusing on a different type of testing with classification, earthworks, strength tests and chemical testing each separated into groups.

According to Geolabs, the proposed changes aim to make the scheme more flexible and allow participants to complete testing and submit results within the required timeframes and to allow quicker reporting.

Geolabs director John Masters added: “The scheme will also allow participants to become more familiarised with the new standards that are forthcoming or just issued, particularly BS1377: Part 3 Chemical testing.”


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