Proficiency Testing Australia
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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 June 2014 by PTA’s Quality - Business Development 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 4 June 2014.

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


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.”


An email inviting participants to complete the survey was sent to a total of 35 organisations. Of these, 14 surveys were completed. This represents a 40% response rate. 

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 2

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 3

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


Question 4

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


Question 5

Question 6:  Do you participate in any other PTA proficiency testing programs?  Please specify:

  • National Asbestos Program (NAP)  
  • Asbestos Identification
  • Other


Question 6 

Water quality programs were highlighted as an additional area of participation.

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:
A program covering alternate methods to AS4964 was suggested as a response to Question 7.

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

Question 9: Do you have any general comment concerning the PTA Asbestos in Soils program?
The following points were raised in the general comments section of the survey:
  • A suggestion for improved screening of samples.
  • A suggested increase in the time taken to analyse the samples.
  • Commendation was received regarding the excellent communication from PTA Program Coordinators Christine Hirst and Kathy Weller.
Customer satisfaction with the PTA Asbestos in Soils proficiency testing program appears to fall within the “Good” to “Very Good” categories.  This is a 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 Kathy Weller - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for further information on the Asbestos in Soils program.