Regular Interlaboratory Counting Exchanges (RICE)
Lab 1 Slides will be
despatched by 1st January 2024
Lab 1 Results Deadline is 2nd
Lab 2 Slides should be
received by 5th February 2024
Lab 2 Results Deadline is 8th
Proficiency Testing Scheme Overview
The Regular Interlaboratory Counting Exchanges (RICE) PT
scheme assesses the proficiency of laboratories counting asbestos
fibres in air.The RICE scheme is operated by HSE Testing and
Monitoring, which oversees management, registration, and membership
matters together with distribution of the samples and processing
the participant data.
Analytes in the Scheme
Asbestos fibres mounted on microscope slides.
Who Should Participate?
UK laboratories are required to be accrediated by the United
Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) to ISO 17025 to undertake this
particular analysis as part of assessing clearance under the Control of Asbestos Regulations (CAR).
Participation in RICE in the United Kingdom is recommended in the
Health and Safety Executive's Guidance - HSG 248,
"Asbestos: The analyst's guide for sampling, analysis and clearance
procedures" and is a precondition for accreditation of this
analysis to ISO 17025.
Participation in the scheme is also open to non-UK
Operation of the Scheme
Currently there are three sample distributions per annum. Each
distribution is a round robin wherein batches
of reference slides are circulated between small cohorts of
laboratories, typically 2 laboratories per cohort. Delivery
date and deadlines for submission of results are emailed to
participants prior to round commencement. Upon submission of
results participants receive initially a provisonal report and a
certification report upon completion of the particular round.
Counts submitted are compared with reference values for each
slide and are categorised as A, B or C. After 4 rounds have
been completed, if 75% or more of the counts are in the categories
A or B the laboratory is classed as 'satisfactory' (see handbook
for full details).
The Proficiency Testing Team
The HSE Science and Research Centre
Tel: +44 (0) 203 028 3382
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