Calls for the PT in 2020 (March and September)

ICAR is pleased to announce the organization of the ICAR Proficiency Test 2020.

The participation in ICAR proficiency test will comply with analytical quality assurance requirements ISO 17025 and with the system of Certification of Quality implemented by ICAR from 2006 includes a recognition of the competence of laboratories and, more widely, of analytical systems in ICAR member organisation that requires regular PT participation with international anchorage.

ICAR PT is ISO 17043 certified,  and the participatory form for downloading as Word file is available here

ICAR PT Programme 2020 and administrative aspects

Administrative fees

The administrative fees are differentiated for ICAR and NO-ICAR members. If your laboratory is servicing an ICAR member you have to consider the member fee. For this reason in the subscription form we are asking you to report the organization’s name that you are providing the DHI results.

Parameter Fees

The technical sub contractor of this proficiency testing scheme is ACTALIA who has for many years collaborated efficiently with ICAR.

The ICAR PT parameters considered are: fat, protein, urea, lactose, somatic cell, beta-Hydroxybutyrate (BHB), Pregnancy Associated Glycoproteins (PAG) and Microorganism DNA PCR technique in cow milk.

For fat, protein, urea, lactose, somatic cell, beta-Hydroxybutyrate (BHB), it will be possible to participate with chemical (direct) method and alternative (indirect) method.

ICAR secretariat will collect the participation forms, will send you the final report and the invoice, while ICAR PT and ACTALIA PT will be organized in parallel.

If you are interested in other parameters offered by Actalia you have to subscribe the Actalia order.

The contract between ICAR and ACTALIA prescribes that for the ICAR PT parameters you will receive only that invoice from ICAR.

ACTALIA will invoice your company only for the parameters that are NOT included in ICAR PT (extra-parameters)

So to be clear, ICAR will invoice for the ICAR PT parameters and Actalia will invoice separately their extra parameters.

We believe that the ICAR PT will be more useful for your quality assurance !

A feature of the new ICAR PT report will help you track and trend your performance over time.

ICAR technical staff will be there to help to interpret and support you as necessary.


Technical Information

Method to apply Parameters Number of Samples
All methods chemical and alternative Fat & Protein 10 samples with a volume of 65 ml preserved with 0.02 % bronopol, regularly ranging from 1.5 % to 4.9 % fat and from 2.5 % to 4.0 % crude protein (TNx6.38)
3 Kjeldahl solutions, 1 tryptophan + 1 Glycin + 1 ammonium sulphate at N concentration of milk, with a volume of 30ml
Lactose 10 samples with a volume of 65 ml, preserved with 0.02 % bronopol, regularly  ranging from 4.6 % to 5.1 % lactose
1 lactose solution with a volume of 30 ml at the concentration of milk
Somatic Cell 10 samples with a volume of 30 ml, preserved with 0.02 % bronopol, regularly ranging from 50 to 1600 x103 cells/ml
2 lyophilized samples
Urea 10 samples with a volume of 30 ml, preserved with 0.02 % bronopol, regularly, ranging from 10 to 70 mg urea /100 ml
BHB 10 samples with a volume of 30 ml, preserved with 0.02 % bronopol, regularly ranging from 0,06-0,25 mmole/liter
PAG 5 preserved samples with a volume of 12 ml  for a qualitative determination positive and negative
DNA (PCR technique) 5 preserved samples with a volume of 2 ml  for a qualitative determination positive and negative

Packaging: 65 ml or 35 ml polyethylene screw-capped vials with airtight joints.

Dispatch: by express carrier with ice in isolated boxes => arrival within 1 day (for most European countries) or up to 5 days, depending on the consignee’s country.

Storage in the laboratory: samples must be stored at 4°C upon arrival and should be analysed for SCC no longer than 5 days, and for chemistry no longer than 10 days, after the dispatch date.


Dates of sample dispatch 1st trial 09 March 2020
Arrival expected from 10 to 12 March 2020
2nd trial 07 September 2020
Arrival expected from 08 to 10 September 2020


Particular cautions for international delivery

Large delays can result from missing the exact fulfilment of the custom requirements of the importing country so it is important to update Actalia-Cecalait on the local custom requirements and the latest changes.

For new participants, particular attention should be paid to the first trial to check transport effectiveness and, where needed, enable possible improvement with regard to delays. The most appropriate method for sample transport and delivery will be determined. Samples may arrive on a bank holiday in your country: please, be careful


The ICAR Administration fee is for each round. Shipping costs see the table below. Fees for each parameter and method are for each dispatch and for one set of samples


Administrative fees
ICAR Member 150,00 €
No ICAR Member 200,00 €
Shipping cost/package EU countries   50,00 €
No EU countries 80,00 €
Asia 180,00€
North Africa 100,00 €
Africa 150,00
North America 100,00
South America 250,00
Parameter Fees
Method Chemical (direct) Alternative (indirect)
Fat 60,00 € 60,00 €
Protein 72,00 € 72,00 €
Lactose     60,00 €     60,00 €
Urea    60,00 €     60,00 €
Somatic cells    98,00 €     98,00 €
BHB 97,00 € 97,00 €
PAG 63,00 €
DNA (PCR technique) 84,00 €

These prices do not include VAT


ICAR PT Subscription and payment

 The subscription form has  to be completed in all its parts and sent to by 31 January 2020. With the acceptance order you will receive the invoice that has to be payed before 20 February 2020. This will facilitate the administrative procedures especially for the organizations  that need the invoice in advance.



After the samples dispatch, you will receive the ICAR PT Excel form necessary to send back your results to If the results will be send to other email addresses and on different template the results will not be evaluated

Statistical treatment

The statistical treatment will be done according the ISO 17043 for each parameter. The ICAR report scheme has been simplified by the ICAR Milk Analyses Sub-Committee and includes a full overview/explanation of the ICAR population. All the data will be treated anonymously and a tight confidentiality commitment is guaranteed


For any further clarification, please do not hesitate to contact ICAR secretariat:


ICAR, Arthur van Schendelstraat 650, 3511 MJ Utrecht, The Netherlands - Email: