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FTIR and Raman Proficiency Program


The PT Program



The Nebraska Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR) and Raman Proficiency Testing (PT) Program offered through the Nebraska Public Health Laboratory is a quality assurance program for all FTIR and Raman devices. It serves to help develop and maintain competency on these instruments. It was started in 2004 as a means of assuring capabilities of laboratories in Nebraska to test for unknown substances using FTIR. The program was founded mainly to maintain proficiency on FTIR devices with microscopy units found mainly in laboratories, but has since expanded to include agencies that have the field versions of FTIR as well. The program expanded outside of Nebraska and in 2009 a RAMAN proficiency program was added. Shortly after that the program expanded to include international participants. The PT program is suitable for all FTIR and Raman devices and this includes both laboratory and hand-held devices.

The FTIR and Raman PT programs are two separate programs and a membership is needed to participate in each program. They are structured similarly. The program is voluntary and results are not submitted to any accrediting agency, but the participants can generate completion reports with their results on-line.

How it Works

  • There are 3 PT challenges per year. Three unknown samples are mailed out to participants in each challenge.
  • Samples are to be identified using FTIR or Raman analysis and reported on-line within four weeks.
  • Results are available for viewing or printing on-line and results summaries are sent via email to participants.

Who Can Enroll

This program is open to any laboratory or agency that tests unknown substances using FTIR or Raman analysis. This includes public health laboratories, civil support teams, environmental laboratories, HAZMAT units, fire departments, health departments, and the military.


The cost of this program is $300/year for each program for laboratories within the continental USA. For international pricing please contact us at Payment can be made through check/purchase order, by credit card, or by electronic transfer. There is a 2.75% surcharge on all credit card payments. This will cover 3 PT challenge exercises and particpants can enroll at any time during the year.

How to Join

If you are interested in participating in this proficiency testing program and would like more information please send an e-mail to or call (402) 559-3557. To enroll in the program complete the on-line membership form and we will confirm your membership. Laboratories can join at any time in the year but in order to be eligible to participate in the upcoming PT, the membership form needs to be received by our facility one month prior to when the PT challenge exercise begins.


Results can be submitted via the website, by fax to (402) 559-7799, or via email to The latter 2 ways use the electronic forms available on this page.


The results from PT events are for educational purposes only and are not sent to any regulatory agency. PT events will be graded as follows:

  • M= Match (Result matches exactly with test sample)
  • NM= No Match (Result does not match with the test sample)
  • PM= Partial Match (Result matches partially with the test sample)

Invidual participant results are available on the website and may be printed.

Results Summaries

Summary reports and group statistics will be emailed to participants when available.


All samples sent will comply with 49 CFR Part 172 Subpart G. These regulations permit for shipping of small quantities of non-hazardous substances without a material safety data sheet (MSDS) accompanying the shipment.

Contact Us

For questions or comments:

Chad Sample, MPH
Program Coordinator
Phone: (402) 552-6205
Fax: (402) 559-7799

Email Us


FTIR and Raman Proficiency Program
NPHL, DRC II 8th Floor
985900 Nebraska Medical Center
Omaha, NE 68198-5900

Last Updated: 01/29/2019