Proficiency Testing Australia
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Introduction

Proficiency Testing Australia (PTA) conducted a survey of companies involved in the PTA Asbestos in Soils proficiency testing program. 

The aim of this survey was to obtain customer opinion and feedback concerning the PTA Asbestos in Soils program, which had been introduced in 2010.  The survey was conducted in April 2018 by PTA’s Quality Manager, Frances Watton, using the on-line tool - Survey Monkey.  Participants were selected from PTA’s current list of Asbestos in Soils proficiency testing program participants.  The contact person for each organisation was emailed information concerning the survey and how to participate on 27 March 2018.

Graphical summaries for each of the questions in the survey are presented in the Results section.

Methods

The survey consisted of nine (9) questions, regarding the following subjects:

  • Program Quality.
  • Suitability of samples.
  • Content of the Results Letter.
  • Timeliness of result notification.
  • Usefulness in demonstrating testing ability.
  • Participation in other PTA programs.
  • Need for new programs.
  • Recommending the program to others.
  • General Comments.

The majority of the response categories were a ranking from Excellent to Poor. The response “N/A” is an abbreviation for “Not Applicable.”

Results

An email inviting participants to complete the survey was sent to a total of 65 contacts. Of these, 12 surveys were completed. This represents an 18% response rate. 


Questions and Answers:

Question 1:  Based on your past participation, how would you rate the overall quality of the PTA Asbestos in Soils proficiency testing program?
Question 2:  How do you rate the type of samples chosen to meet your needs?
Question 3:  How would you rate the content of the Asbestos in Soils program Results Letter in providing you with an evaluation of your testing performance?
Question 4:  How would you rate the timeliness of result notification?
Question 5:  How useful have you found the Asbestos in Soils program in demonstrating your testing performance to other bodies?
Question 6:  Do you participate in any other PTA proficiency testing programs?  Please specify
- National Asbestos Program (NAP)
- Asbestos Identification
- Other
Question 7:  Are there any other proficiency testing programs that you would participate in if they became available?  Please specify the area of testing required:
Question 8:  Would you recommend participation in the Asbestos in Soils program to others?
Question 9: Do you have any general comment concerning the PTA Asbestos in Soils program?


Question 1:  Based on your past participation, how would you rate the overall quality of the PTA Asbestos in Soils proficiency testing program?

Response: 

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Question 2:  How do you rate the type of samples chosen to meet your needs?

Response: 

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Question 3:  How would you rate the content of the Asbestos in Soils program Results Letter in providing you with an evaluation of your testing performance?

Response:

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Question 4:  How would you rate the timeliness of result notification?

Response:

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Question 5:  How useful have you found the Asbestos in Soils program in demonstrating your testing performance to other bodies?

Response: 

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Question 6:  Do you participate in any other PTA proficiency testing programs?  Please specify:
- National Asbestos Program (NAP)
- Asbestos Identification

- Other______________________

Response:

Comments from respondents:

The Waters (Chemical) and SeaWaters programs were mentioned as “Other” programs.

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Question 7:  Are there any other proficiency testing programs that you would participate in if they became available?  Please specify the area of testing required:

Comments from respondents:

A number of suggestions were received regarding proficiency testing programs concerning the National Environment Protection (Assessment of Site Contamination) Measure 1999 (NEPM).

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Question 8:  Would you recommend participation in the Asbestos in Soils program to others?

Response:

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Question 9: Do you have any general comment concerning the PTA Asbestos in Soils program?

Response:

The following points were raised in the general comments section of the survey:

  • “Fantastic service and bettered by no other agency worldwide.  Keep up the good work!”
  • “Samples need to be more representative of reality”

Additional comments that were received from respondents include:

  • “The results usually come within 24 hours which is fantastic.”
  • “It’s good that we can get an indication of how we are going compared to other laboratories.”
  • “This is the yard stick for proficiency in asbestos in soil testing”

Discussion

Customer satisfaction with the PTA Asbestos in Soils proficiency testing program appears to primarily fall within the “Good” to “Excellent” categories.  This is a very pleasing result.  The customer feedback obtained from this survey will be useful in further developing the program for future rounds.

PTA would like to extend a big thank you to all the participants of this survey.  Your feedback will assist us in improving our proficiency testing programs.  Please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for further information on the Asbestos in Soils program.

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