General Instructions

Thank you for interest in the Fall 2017 Emerald Test™, the Inter-Laboratory Comparison and Proficiency Test (ILC/PT) for cannabis testing labs. This document contains an overview of details relating to enrollment, the proficiency testing process, instructions for result submission and Emerald Test™ award criteria.

Please read this document thoroughly. All questions should be addressed to Ken Groggel, PT Director at [email protected] or (877) 567-3598 ext. 709 .

Enrollment

Enrollment in the Emerald Test is done by purchasing a series from the Emerald Test™  or by contacting Ken Groggel. Fees for Emerald Test™ participation are posted on this site. The enrollment schedule, along with other action dates, is listed below. American Oil Chemists Society (AOCS) notifications will be by email, so participants must provide a valid address for the person or entity authorized to receive test results.

Fall Test Schedule

Enrollment–Sept. 25 – Oct. 9
Emerald Test Instructions Sent–Oct. 16
AOCS Analyst Number and Password Sent–Oct. 18
Samples Sent – Tickets Open–Oct. 23
Results Entry Deadline – Tickets Close–Nov. 1
AOCS Preliminary Results/Appeal Open–Nov. 8
Appeal Closed–Nov. 20
AOCS Final Results–Dec. 1
Emerald Badges Issued–Dec. 8

Customer Confidentiality

Inter-laboratory comparison data is presented in anonymized format according to a randomly assigned analyst number. Both Emerald Scientific and AOCS will keep all analyst information and results confidential. Participant information will not be released by either AOCS or Emerald Scientific without the prior knowledge and consent of the participating laboratory. Should a regulatory agency or other entity need to receive the results, written permission is required from the participant authorizing Emerald Scientific to release test results.

Receiving Samples

Sample ship date and results due date are listed above and on the series protocol found on the AOCS LPP Dashboard.

If samples are not received within 48 hours of the ship date, notify Ken Groggel. Failure to do so within 5 days of the ship date may result in a forfeited test.

Be sure to thoroughly inspect all samples upon receipt and store under the conditions recommended in the testing protocol. Damaged samples should be reported immediately to Ken. Failure to do so within 1 week of the ship date may result in a forfeited test.

Sample Analysis

It is the responsibility of the participant to choose an analysis technique appropriate for the samples they are testing. Some series will request that the participant list their analysis technique in a general fashion (e.g. LC, GC, LC-MS/MS etc.). These will be entered with their results in the appropriate boxes on the results entry form. This anonymized data is used to monitor developments or changes in technique in the industry to assist in future test development. Please contact [email protected] should you have any questions or concerns regarding technique entry.

Participant Integrity Agreement

Participation in the Emerald Test™ is a participants’ implied assertion that the laboratory name provided when purchasing the Emerald Test™ is the laboratory that performs the sample analysis.

Results Entry

The assigned Analyst Number and Password are required to access the AOCS LPP Dashboard where participants can:

  1. Manage individual participation
  2. Enter results
  3. Review results
  4. Enter Appeals
  5. View reports

Sample test results are entered into a “Measurement Entry Form” or “Ticket.” This form will open automatically on October 23. Participants must read all instructions found on the report tickets and protocols to ensure the results are entered properly.

AOCS does not accept paper copies of results.

Participants may also get to the LPP Dashboard from the AOCS homepage; click “Attain Lab Services.” Scroll down and click on the LPP analyst login enter data/read reports button located on the right side of the page as shown below.

Login to the AOCS LPP system

Data entry access requires the analyst number and password provided by email after participants have enrolled in the Emerald Test™. If you have lost your analyst number or password contact Dawn Shepard at 217-693-4810 or email [email protected].

Click on “Enter Data” and enter your data per the directions. Participants then report results per form instructions. Pay special attention to:

  • Significant figures/decimal rounding as indicated on form.
  • Analysis Technique Used data fields.
  • Sample results must be submitted in the AOCS LPP system by the due date. Tickets close promptly on the indicated date. Late results will not be accepted. They will not be added to the database and will be treated as missing data.

Participant Measurement Entry Review

Accurate data reporting is part of the analysis process, thus all participants are responsible for review of their own reported results to ensure accuracy. Results may be reviewed and changed between October 23rd and November 1st. Be sure to review the AOCS Measurement Entry Form/Ticket for data entry instructions. It is recommended that a second person review your entered results for accuracy. Incorrectly-reported results will not be changed after the tickets close. There are no exceptions.

Report Postings

Reports are posted on the AOCS LPP Dashboard. Participant access to reports is limited to their enrolled series as indicated on their LPP Dashboard.

Preliminary Reports

Preliminary Reports will be available one week from the report ticket close date. Some series/test report analysis require  minimum participation. Reports include the following information:

  • Series/test information including series name, sample number, and test material.
  • Participant reported data listed according to participant analyst number.
  • Outliers as determined by the Grubbs’ calculation (ISO 5725 Part 2) are noted on data entry reports with a G.
  • Consensus mean value and standard deviation for each constituent are reported excluding data qualified as Grubbs’ outliers.
  • Z-scores numerical values: Numerical values for Z-scores are listed by analyst number. Z-score is a measurement of the number of standard deviations a particular measurement falls from the consensus mean. (note: Z-scores are not calculated for data points classified as an outlier or for series having less than 8 participants.)
  • Chart of Z-score: Graphical plot of Z-scores according to analyst number. Z-scores >2 are indicated in yellow and >3 are indicated in red.
  • Kernel density plots: Graphical plot the raw data against the probability density. Raw data of >2 standard deviations are indicated by the yellow bar. Raw data >3 standard deviations values are indicated by the red bar.

Report Appeal Process

All appeals must be received by November 20th, 2017. Appeal requests should include:

  1. Analyst number
  2. Series/test number
  3. Appeal description

All appeals must be entered on the participants’ AOCS LPP Dashboard in the area of the reports. Appeals will be considered by the Emerald Test™ Advisory Panel.

Typographical errors will not be considered for an appeal. Appeals submitted after November 20th, 2017 will not be considered.

Emerald Badge Requirements

An Emerald Badge will be issued to top performing labs.

In previous rounds of The Emerald Test™, badge criteria were based on participant Z scores. To improve and simplify the award process, criteria for quantitative analyses will be based on percent variation of reported values versus the reference value. By default, the reference value will be the certified value reported by the ISO-certified manufacturers; but in cases where the certified value differs from the consensus mean by > 25%, the consensus mean may be used at the discretion of the Advisory Panel. Allowed percent variation from a reference value are based on group results from past tests as well as industry standard values for related tests in established industries. Allowed percent variation may change between rounds of The Emerald Test™.

Badge criteria for Fall 2017 are:

Test Name Criteria
Potency ±10% for all analytes
Microbial Panel 1 ±30% for all organisms
Microbial Panel 2 all samples correctly identified for presence/absence of salmonella
Residual Solvents ±30% for 8 of 9 analytes
Heavy Metals ±20% for all analytes
Pesticides 21 of 22 analytes correctly identified as present/absent
Terpenes See note below*

 

Please note that badges will no longer be awarded for the first round of any test due to the fact that no group data is available for setting badge criteria.

*Note: Since Fall 2017 is the first round for the Terpenes PT, badges will not be offered for this test; however, all reporting will be performed on the data and results will be available for reporting to regulatory agencies.