The Emerald Test™ takes place in the Spring and Fall of each year, with enrollment open for a set period of time. The components of each test are determined by the Emerald Test Advisory Panel. Proficiency test samples are manufactured by an ISO/IEC 17043 accredited PT provider with overnight shipping where available. After receiving the PT sample, labs have a specified time period to complete the test(s) and submit their results. Results are submitted through an electronic data portal. Data analysis is provided by the sample manufacturer with software designed to meet the requirements of ISO 13528:2015.

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Labs will receive their individual PT results as well as the ILC/PT results so they can evaluate their performance in relation to their peers. Individual lab data is confidential; however, cumulative (anonymous) data of all laboratory participants is used for a variety of analyses and may be published in appropriate journals and/or websites. Labs that perform within a specific tolerance are awarded Emerald Test Badges.

Enrollment in the Emerald Test signifies understanding and permission for individual lab results to be provided to Emerald Test personnel for identification of Emerald Badge award recipients.

A signed release of information from the lab is provided to make test results available to regulatory agencies and accreditation bodies.