Who should participate in the BePAT Program?
Laboratories routinely analyzing beryllium particulates on filter media may benefit from participation. Participation in the BePAT Program can provide information to clients on laboratory performance. Laboratories performing work for the Department of Energy under 10 CFR Part 850.24, Section (f) are required to participate.
What type of samples will be used in the BePAT Program?
Each BePAT round consists of four beryllium samples that include acetate and/or oxide samples and a blank.
How does the program work?
A sample set consisting of four samples and a blank is shipped to each participating laboratory three times per year. The concentration ranges can be between 0.1 µg Be/filter and 25 µg Be/filter. Laboratories must prepare and analyze the samples using their routine laboratory protocols and submit data by the requested deadline. The data is evaluated and ratings are assigned.
Results determined to be within 75%-125% of the "accepted" value are rated as acceptable. Data outside of this range is rated as not acceptable.
How are proficiency samples for the BePAT Program sent?
Samples are sent to laboratories via trackable carrier at the beginning of each BePAT round. Upon receipt of the PT samples, it is the responsibility of the laboratory to inspect the shipment for any damage and to ensure that the correct samples were received. If samples are damaged, then the laboratory shall notify the PAT Programs within 24 hours of sample receipt to ensure timely replacement of samples for the laboratory to meet the deadline for submission of data. Laboratories requesting special shipping for replacement samples shall assume the cost of express carrier handling.
If the samples are not received by the laboratory in accordance with the predefined schedule, then it shall be the responsibility of the laboratory to contact the PAT Programs within one (1) week of the scheduled shipping date to notify us of failure to receive the samples. A laboratory that receives BePAT samples but does not submit results or contact PAT Programs by the deadline will receive a "Fail" for the round.
When are the proficiency testing rounds held?
Three BePAT rounds are held each year, in March, July, and November.
Are special analytical methods required?
The BePAT Program does not require any specific methods. Laboratories should use the methods for preparation and analysis that are routinely employed by the laboratory for preparation and analysis of beryllium. It is recommended that the method used be capable of addressing solubility issues associated with complex forms of beryllium (including metal alloys and oxides).
After I obtain BePAT samples, how long do I have to report results?
Generally, participants receive about one calendar month in which to complete their analyses and submit their results.
What happens after results are submitted?
The results are compiled, and evaluated, and an evaluation report is generated. Individual laboratory evaluation reports are issued to each participant in the round.
What are the criteria used for rating my performance?
Results determined to be within 75%-125% of the "accepted value" are rated as acceptable. Data outside of this range are rated as not acceptable. The "accepted value" is determined by theoretical calculations and is confirmed by statistical analysis of reference laboratory data. Blank data are not assigned ratings.
The laboratory shall receive a pass/fail score for each BePAT round. The laboratory shall receive a passing score if three (3) of four (4) reported results are acceptable or not more than twenty-five (25) percent of reported results are outliers.
How is proficiency determined?
A laboratory shall be rated proficient for Beryllium if the laboratory has passing scores for two (2) of the last three (3) consecutive PT rounds. A laboratory is rated non-proficient for Beryllium if the laboratory has failing scores in two (2) of the last three (3) consecutive PT rounds.
What happens if my laboratory becomes non-proficient?
The BePAT Program offers a retest option to any interested program participant. The retest provides participants with the opportunity to re-establish proficiency by replacing the score of the most recent regular round.
Who prepares the proficiency testing samples?
The BePAT Program samples are compiled, verified, and shipped by RTI International. After summary results review and sign off by the PAT Board, RTI International provides a round summary report.