What are the requirements for the program?
Each round, laboratories are required to classify samples of bulk building materials as asbestos-containing or not, and to identify the asbestos type(s) present in the samples. In addition, participants are asked to provide semi-quantitative estimates of the amount of asbestos present, and identification and semi-quantitation of other fibrous and nonfibrous components of the samples, where possible.
Evaluation of the laboratory's performance is based on sample classification, asbestos identification and semiquantitation of the asbestos type(s).
What types of samples will be used in the program?
Participating laboratories will receive four samples in each of the four quarterly test rounds. These samples, the great majority of which are "real-world" materials from abatement projects, may contain any of the asbestos types in a variety of matrices and binders typical of bulk building and insulation materials.
Materials known to pose difficulties to laboratories, such as those containing low asbestos percentages or asbestos "look-alike" fibers, as well as nonfriable materials such as vinyl tile and cementitious or asphalyic products, are frequently used. These samples should be analyzed using the same analytical procedure used to test routine client samples.
BAPAT samples remain the property of the laboratory and can serve both as in-house quality control samples and quantitation calibration reference samples.
How are proficiency samples sent?
Proficiency samples are shipped via a trackable carrier. Upon receipt of the 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 BAPAT samples but does not submit results or contact PAT Programs by the reporting deadline will receive a "Fail" for the round.
After I obtain the BAPAT samples, how long do I have to report results?
Generally, participants are provided about one calendar month in which to complete their analyses and submit their results.
What happens after the results are submitted?
At the conclusion of each test round, each participant will receive an extensive report of analysis that summarizes the results, provides the qualitative and semi-quantitative reference values for the samples, and includes a summary of the overall performance of all laboratories participating in the round. Difficulties with the analysis of specific samples in that round are addressed, and suggestions for improving the laboratory's qualitative and semi-quantitative analyses are offered.
How are BAPAT proficiency samples scored?
For scoring information, please see the BAPAT Proficiency Sample Evaluation Criteria Chart.
How is proficiency determined?
The BAPAT program consists of four (4) rounds annually. A bulk asbestos laboratory shall be considered to have "passed" or "failed" an individual BAPAT test round in accordance with evaluation criteria based on the penalty point total incurred by the laboratory for that test round. A laboratory shall be rated proficient for bulk asbestos if the laboratory has passing scores (less than 100 penalty points) for at least two (2) of the last three (3) consecutive PT rounds.
A laboratory shall be rated non-proficient for bulk asbestos if the laboratory has failing scores in two (2) of the last three (3) consecutive PT rounds. A laboratory that receives round samples and does not submit analysis results by the reporting deadline will receive a "Fail" for the round if the laboratory does not notify the PAT Programs before the round closes.
What happens if my laboratory becomes non-proficient?
The BAPAT program offers a retest option that is available to any interested participant. Enrolling in the retest round provides the ability for a participant to improve their score from the most recent round.
Who prepares the proficiency testing samples?
The BAPAT program samples are generated and shipped by RTI International. After summary results review and sign off by the PAT Board, RTI Internation provides a round summary report.