Proficiency Testing Programme

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The Measurement Standards Laboratory runs a Proficiency Testing Programme.

What is Proficiency Testing

Proficiency Testing assesses a laboratory’s performance at carrying out a specific test or measurement. So, regular Proficiency Testing provides evidence of the quality of a laboratory’s test and measurement capabilities. Participation in Proficiency Testing exercises is usually required by accreditation bodies.

By participating in a Proficiency Testing exercise, a laboratory:

  • obtains evidence of the performance of their measurement capabilities, which may help to support their accreditation and give clients confidence in the quality of results;
  • can potentially identify problems with their measurement procedures, so that remedial action can be taken.

In a Proficiency Testing exercise, one or more artefacts (e.g., a ring gauge or a set of gauge blocks) are sent to a laboratory with instructions on what is to be measured. The laboratory must perform the measurements according to their usual procedures and submit the results to the Proficiency Testing coordinator.

Proficiency Testing exercises usually provide several laboratories with an opportunity to participate. This imposes time constraints. So, a laboratory must make their measurements and report results within a strict time frame. When all laboratories have submitted results, the coordinator will analyse this information and prepare an anonymised report on the performance of each laboratory in the exercise. The confidentiality of participating laboratories is strictly managed, and the final report will only be issued to participants in the exercise.

How to participate

We invite interested laboratories to review our schedule below and find out more information about each proficiency test.  Registration opens 3 months prior to each PT commencing.  Note, registration is for the Lab and requires a contact person.

MSL has secured funding from an external partner to provide this programme at a greatly reduced cost. In order to participate, an administration fee of $499 (incl. GST) must be paid by credit card during registration. This fee supports the cost of shipping and handling artefacts, and the collection, analysis and reporting of results.

Once registered, the contact person of the participating laboratory will receive an email from MSL confirming participation, the booking date, instructions on the tests required (as listed in the Proficiency Testing Protocol Document) and desired timeframes.

Please note: Participation is restricted to New Zealand laboratories only.  Please contact your country's National Metrology Institute for information about proficiency tests available in your country.


Below are the Proficiency Testing exercises (PTs) we are running, in chronological order. Currently open for registration is the Direct-Reading Platinum Resistance Thermometer PT. Click on the title to view more information, or click 'Register Now' to go straight to our registration page.

Proficiency Testing exercise Tentative Start Date  
Hand-held radiation thermometer March 2019 Registrations closed
Piston Pipettes March 2019 Registrations closed
Relative humidity hygrometer May 2019 Registrations closed
Benchtop spectrophotometer September 2019 Registrations closed
Micrometers July 2020 Registrations closed
Balance Calibrations February 2021 Registrations closed
Direct-Reading Platinum Resistance Thermometer February 2023 Registrations closed
Digital Multimeter September 2023 Registrations open
Current transformer    
Watt hour meter    




All information supplied by you as part of a proficiency testing program is treated as confidential, except where we are required by law or governmental authority, or where authorised by you. In reports and publications produced by MSL, your data will be identified by numbers or symbols that maintain confidentiality.