Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Program

Requirements for PT Providers


General Requirements for PT Providers

PT Providers must be accredited to the 2009 TNI Standard (Volume 3) through one of two approved organizations: American Association of Laboratory Accreditation (A2LA) and the ANSI-ASQ National Accreditation Board (ACLASS).  Minnesota-specific reporting requirements are listed in MN Rules 4740.2075.

American Association for Laboratory Accreditation (A2LA)
ANSI-ASQ National Accreditation Board (ACLASS)
MN Rules 4740.2075

State regulations require PT Providers used by the accreditation program to supply the results of proficiency tests according to the time lines and format acceptable to the program.  MN-ELAP approval of specific PT Providers indicates the PT Providers’ compliance with Minnesota Laws and Rules.  If MN-ELAP determines a PT Provider is not compliant with requirements, MN-ELAP will notify the PT Provider, in writing, and require corrective action. Repeated or significant noncompliance may result in removal of the PT Provider from MN-ELAP approval.  MN-ELAP will not reinstate approval to a PT Provider until the next scheduled annual review performed by MN-ELAP.

Specifications for Electronic Deliverables

Method Codes

  • PT data must include references to a valid, active TNI Analyte Code and TNI Method Code for each field of testing reported. The Method Code is currently labeled as an optional item as long as the file includes a Method Reference. If both fields are empty, the item will not be uploaded. A revised XML schema file will be released this fall with an effective date of January 1, 2012. The revised schema will mark the Method Code item as ‘required’. PT Providers must ensure that laboratories report data using a valid TNI Method Code with each field of testing. XML files for studies with closing dates on or after January 1, 2012 must include this item.

TNI Method and Analyte Codes

  • The PT Provider must uniquely identify each PT results file and PT study sent to MN-ELAP. If reports are revised and re-issued upon approval by MN-ELAP, the PT Provider must issue the revised report with a unique study and filename.
  • The MN-ELAP data system will automatically reject all PT data reported without an EPA ID for the laboratory, without a valid TNI Analyte or Method Code assigned, or without a valid, TNI-assigned PT Provider identification.

TNI PT Providers

  • Remove items evaluated as "not reported." MN-ELAP does not need to upload these unless there is a question about whether the FOT was available in the PT. MN-ELAP will view this in the full report (i.e. the PDF version of the final report).
  • LOQ is the 'level of quantitation' reported by the laboratory for each field of testing. Evaluation against the laboratory’s LOQ is required in the 2009 TNI Standard. The current XML schema labels this item as optional. A revised XML schema file will be released this fall with an effective date of January 1, 2012. The revised schema will mark the LOQ item as ‘required’. PT Providers must ensure that laboratories report their LOQ associated with the analysis of PTs. XML files for studies with closing dates on or after January 1, 2012 must include this item.
  • PT Providers must create an XML file using the XML schema definition provided.

MN-ELAP EDD

  • The PT Provider must validate each generated XML file against the schema definition prior to delivering the EDD to MN-ELAP.
  • Validated XML files and the PDF copy of results must be delivered to MN-ELAP at health.mnelap@state.mn.us. MN-ELAP will not accept PT files delivered to other email addresses or files received from a laboratory.

Updated Wednesday, July 24, 2013 at 11:53AM