Information about the ICAR Proficiency test (September 2016)

ICAR is pleased to announce the organization of the second round of the ICAR Proficiency Test 2016 in September with additional parameters now available for inclusion. The ICAR PT parameters considered are: fat, protein, lactose, urea, and somatic cell.

The new parameters such as the beta-Hydroxybutyric (BHB), the Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) and the Pregnancy Associated Glycoproteins (PAG) will be added in the next round of the Proficiency Test Expected to be launched in December 2016.

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. The Reports and the results of the Proficiency Test organised in March 2016 is available here

ICAR PT Programme 2016 and administrative aspects

The technical sub contractor of this proficiency testing scheme is ACTALIA who have for many years collaborated efficiently with ICAR. From this year it will be possible to participate with reference and alternative method in the ICAR PT. ICAR secretariat will collect the participation forms and provide with the final report and the invoice. For participating to the Proficiency Test, we kindly ask you to fill the complete form for the parameters requested in all its parts. 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 . So to be clear, ICAR will invoice for the ICAR PT parameters (including BHB, PCR and PAG) and Actalia will invoice separately any of their extra parameters. You will receive a revamped ICAR PT report in 2016 which we believe 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 reference and alternative Fat & Protein 10 samplespreserved with 0.02 % bronopol, regularlyranging from 1.5 % to 4.9 % fatand from 2.5 % to 4.0 % crude protein(TNx6.38)
3 Kjeldahl solutions1 tryptophan + 1 Glycin + 1 ammonium sulphateat N concentration of milk
Lactose 10 samplespreserved with 0.02 % bronopol, regularlyranging from 4.6 % to 5.1 % lactose
1 lactose solutionat the concentration of milk
Somatic Cell 10 samplespreserved with 0.02 % bronopol, regularlyranging from 50 to 1600 x103 cells/ml
Urea 10 samplespreserved with 0.02 % bronopol, regularlyranging from 10 to 70 mg urea /100 ml
BHB 10 samples preserved with 0.02 % bronopol, ranging 0,06-0,25 mmole/liter
PCR 5 preserved samples for a qualitative determination positive and negative
PAG 5 preserved samples for a qualitative determination positive and negative

Packaging: 65 ml, 35 ml and 12 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 as soon as possible, for PCR non longer than 4 days 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 07 March 2016
Arrival expected from 8 to 11 March 2016
2nd trial 05 September 2016
Arrival expected from 6 to 09 September 2016


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.   ICAR PT Fees and subscription The fees reported are for each dispatch, for each parameter and for each set of samples. Shipping costs are real costs invoiced by express courier.

Reference method Alternative method
ICAR Administration fee

150,00 €

Shipping cost


Fat 55,00€ 55,00€
Protein 66,00 € 66,00 €
Lactose 55,00 € 55,00 €
Urea 55,00 € 55,00 €
Somatic cells 55,00 € 55,00 €

All methods

BHB 85,00€
PCR 55,00€
PAG 75,00€

These prices do not include VAT For the participant that have already subscribed the participation in February 2016 it is already completed-. It is considered a confirmation order. If you wish to add or delete some parameters please correct it and send it (in any case) to by 28 August


After the samples dispatch, you will receive the ICAR PT Excel form necessary to send back your results to

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: Silvia Orlandini email phone +39 349 7967223

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