Information about the ICAR Proficiency Test

Information and instructions about the ICAR PT Programme 2016 and the new administrative aspects

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

The ICAR PT parameters considered are: fat, protein, urea, somatic cell and lactose in cow milk.

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, will send you the final report and the invoice.

As in the previous years the ICAR PT and ACTALIA PT will be organized in parallel. Thanks to the kind and fruitful collaboration with ACTALIA we know that you have already subscribed the ACTALIA participation. In the that case, please simply sign the ICAR PT Participation form available here and send back to

If you have already submitted the information to Actalia If ICAR PT information has not been submitted already or participate in alternative methods
Simply sign the form available here and return it to, no need to fill in the form again Please fill the ICAR Participation form with all the required information

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.

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 samples

preserved with 0.02 % bronopol, regularly

ranging from 1.5 % to 4.9 % fat

and from 2.5 % to 4.0 % crude protein


3 Kjeldahl solutions

1 tryptophan + 1 Glycin + 1 ammonium sulphate

at N concentration of milk


10 samples

preserved with 0.02 % bronopol, regularly

ranging from 4.6 % to 5.1 % lactose

1 lactose solution

at the concentration of milk

Somatic Cell

10 samples

preserved with 0.02 % bronopol, regularly

ranging from 50 to 1600 x103 cells/ml


10 samples

preserved with 0.02 % bronopol, regularly

ranging from 10 to 70 mg urea /100 ml

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 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.


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 Real Real
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 €

These prices do not include VAT


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 at

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