Good Delivery

Proficiency Testing Scheme

Proficiency testing is our anonymous, voluntary scheme open to all refiners, regardless of whether they have Good Delivery accreditation or not.

It’s generally expected that refiners' laboratories use well-established and validated methods of assaying, as well as their own quality control procedures. Proficiency testing provides an important layer of external quality control to help validate these internal procedures.

Key differences between proficiency testing and proactive monitoring:

Proficiency testing Proactive monitoring
Open to Good Delivery and non-Good Delivery refiners and other assaying labs. Only for currently accredited Good Delivery refiners.
Annual scheme. Three-year cycle.
A single piece of gold is assayed and results submitted to the facilitator Fapas. As well assay testing, it also includes production and financial assessments.
Anonymous – the facilitator Fapas receives the data from each participant and assigns them a code, which is shared only with the individual participant. As the assessment programme is run directly between LBMA and the Good Delivery refiner, it is not anonymised. Where the process involves third-party testing of dip samples by LBMA Referees, the participant’s identity is anonymised and samples assigned a code.
Results are published in an annual report using the lab’s assigned codes only. This provides all participants with the opportunity to compare their results against the others involved in the scheme. Results are reported back confidentially to the individual refiner only.
Participants conduct their assay tests under normal conditions. They are not expected to do anything that they wouldn’t normally do. Labs are expected to make extra-special efforts to achieve assaying accuracy.

In 2020, 48 LBMA accredited Good Delivery gold and silver refiners took part in proficiency testing:

  • 34 gold and silver
  • 10 gold only
  • 4 silver only

In addition, 13 non-Good Delivery refiners (including 5 participating in both gold and silver).