Proficiency Testing Australia
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Proficiency Testing Australia (PTA) conducted a survey of companies involved in the PTA Soils Proficiency Testing Program. 

The aim of this survey was to obtain customer opinion and feedback concerning the PTA Soils Proficiency Testing Program, which has run since 1992.  The survey was conducted in September 2017 by PTA’s Quality Manager, Frances Watton, using the on-line tool - Survey Monkey.  Participants were selected from PTA’s current list of Soils Proficiency Testing Program Participants.  The contact person for each organisation was emailed information concerning the survey and how to participate on 13 September 2017.

Graphical summaries for each of the questions in the survey are presented in the Results section.


The survey consisted of ten (10) questions, regarding the following subjects:

  • Program quality.
  • Suitability of samples.
  • Frequency of the program.
  • Content of the summary sheets and final report.
  • Timeliness of result notification.
  • PTA service.
  • Participation in other PTA programs.
  • Need for new programs.
  • Recommending the program to others.
  • General Comments.

The majority of the response categories were a ranking from Excellent to Poor. The response “N/A” is an abbreviation for “Not Applicable.”


An email inviting participants to complete the survey was sent to a total of 55 organisations.  Of these, 15 surveys were completed. This represents a 27% response rate. 

Question 1:  Based on your past participation, how would you rate the overall quality of PTA’s Soils proficiency testing program?



Question 2:  How do you rate the type of samples chosen to meet your needs?


Question 3:  How do you rate the frequency of the programs to meet the needs of your laboratory?


Question 4:  How would you rate the content of the Soils proficiency testing program Summary Sheets and Final Reports in providing you with an evaluation of your testing performance?


Question 5:  How would you rate the timeliness of result notification?


Question 6:  How would you rate the personalised service provided by PTA?


Question 7:  Do you participate in any other PTA proficiency testing programs?  Please specify:

Participants indicated participation in other PTA programs such as:

  • Aggregates
  • Asphalt
  • Concrete

Question 8:  Are there any other proficiency testing programs that you would participate in if they became available?  Please specify the area of testing required:


  • Quarries products
  • Soil mechanics
  • Rock mechanics
  • Reinforcement Steel Bar Tensile Test
  • Mechanical tests - triaxial, consolidation or direct cutting

Question 9:  Would you recommend participation in PTA’s Soils proficiency testing program to others?


Question 10: Do you have any general comment concerning PTA’s Soils proficiency testing program?


A good response was received to this question, with a number of suggestions offered for improvement/development of the program, concerning the following:

  • More relevant testing offered
  • More variety, including the challenging and less frequently performed tests

The practicality of implementing these changes will be determined during the planning for upcoming rounds.  A number of complements were also given as part of the response to this question.  Some of these are included below:

  • “Well done so far”
  • “Very good”
  • “PTA’s Soils proficiency testing program is such a good program since we do not have a soil proficiency testing provider in Malaysia”
  • “We are happy to participate in these tests”
  • “Excellent”


Customer satisfaction with PTA’s Soils proficiency testing programs appears to fall within the “Excellent” to “Good” categories.  This is a very pleasing result.  The customer feedback obtained from this survey will be useful in further developing the program for future rounds.

PTA would like to extend a big thank you to all the participants of this survey.  Your feedback will assist us in improving our proficiency testing programs.  Please contact PTA - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for further information on the Soils program.