A roll-out paper is available at the beginning of a new program cycle which includes general information about the programs e.g. design of the test sample, time schedule, application form and so on. In order to join the programs, the interested Ex laboratory (e.g. IECEx test laboratories, manufacturer and other parties interested) have to complete the respective application form enclosed as annex in the roll-out paper and send it back to the coordinator. Once a completed application form is received, an order confirmation “Declaration of participation" is sent out to the participant.
To perform a previous program the interested laboratory needs to contact the coordinator directly to get the application form and further information regarding the individual time schedule and report. General information about the provided PTB Ex PT Programs (previous and new programs) can be found on the PTB Ex PTS website all the time.
The basic costs of the PTB Ex PTS (e.g. concept development of the programs and related test samples, manufacturing of the samples, evaluation procedures of the results) are covered by PTB. Nevertheless, PTB cannot cover all expenses caused by the various programs, offered every two years. The PTB Ex PTS is not organized as by a commercial provider; it is using instead the non-profit approach in cooperating with the non-profit registered association (e.V.) “Ex Network e.V.” in order to process financial transactions. The association works under financial supervision of the local tax authority of the City of Braunschweig. PTB as governmental organization is allowed to receive financial resources from the Ex Network e.V. under the umbrella of a cooperation contract with the scope of offering and conducting Ex proficiency testing programs. The costs for the PT programs within the PTB Ex PTS are as follows:
- Participation in both programs of the current program cycle is 6,000.00 EUR (VAT excluded),
- Participation in a single program of the current program cycle is 3,500.00 EUR (VAT excluded),
- Participation in a single program of a past program cycle is 1,500.00 EUR (VAT excluded).
After registration for the respective program(s), the participant will receive an invoice corresponding to the program costs issued by Ex-Network e.V.. Every financial transaction will be confirmed by the coordinator. Payment deadlines are announced with the invoice or in direct contact with the participant. Non-payment or late payment may result in test samples and/or reports not being distributed.
Participants are advised to participate in the programs that are most appropriate to their scope. Where necessary, the coordinator can advise which program(s) are most suitable for the participant. The program cycle of new programs is biennial. That means every two years two new programs or program test rounds are provided in the PTB Ex PT Scheme. Respective the individual scope of the Ex laboratories it is recommended to perform these two new programs/program test rounds. Additionally it could be fruitful to perform one or more of the available older programs in between (if the laboratory wasn’t a participant in the “original” program test round).
In accordance with IECEx 02 Rules of Procedure, participation in the Proficiency Testing Scheme is mandatory for all IECEx test laboratories (IECEx ExTLs, IECEx Applicant ExTLs, IECEx Additional Testing Facilities (ATFs) and IECEx Applicant ATFs; noting that this does not include laboratories operating under the provisions of IECEx OD 024). Laboratory participation is according to their scope of acceptance in the IECEx System and is a condition for continued acceptance. IECEx test laboratories are required to participate in all programs which are relevant to their scope, with the priority being given to new topics. A laboratory may be required to conduct more than two programs per program cycle in the case of repeating a test as a result of “unsatisfactory results” in previous programs.