Lucion Environmental laboratory services maintain top RICE classification

25 October 2021

Lucion Environmental laboratory services maintain the 'Category 1 - Good' classification by successfully completing the most recent Round 118 of Regular Interlaboratory Counting Exchange (RICE).


We are delighted to add another achievement to our fantastic laboratory services through the proficiency of our field-based analysts.

Both our laboratory analysts at our in-house testing laboratory and our on-site analysts, covering all of the UK, are subject to the Regular Interlaboratory Counting Exchange (RICE) Scheme.

Our site analysts’ vehicles are fitted with mobile laboratories for conducting Phase Contrast Microscopy (PCM) analysis, which means that results can be delivered immediately via email and analysts have WIFI printers in their vans for leaving hard copies on-site if required.

The RICE Proficiency Testing Scheme assesses the proficiency of our field-based analysts when counting asbestos fibres in air samples. In the recent Round 118 of evaluation by RICE, we've maintained our 'Category 1 - Good' classification.

The RICE scheme is operated by HSE Testing and Monitoring, which oversees management, registration, and membership matters together with distribution of the samples and processing the participant data.

Lucion Environmental achieved success with 100% of our counts (over 200 individual counts in total) being classified within Bands A and B; with 95% of those being in B and A.

Speaking about the achievement, Lucion Services' Chief Technical Officer Ross Boulton said:

“We offer independent sampling, testing and analysis combined with quality reassurance to meet client demands, all through uncompromising quality controls.

“The maintenance of the top classification by the RICE scheme is the testament to our commitment to quality and delivery of the highest standard of service to our customers.”

UK Inspection and Testing providers are required to be accredited by the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) to ISO 17025 to undertake this particular analysis for air testing and as part of assessing sites for clearance certification under the Control of Asbestos Regulations (CAR). 

Participation in RICE in the United Kingdom is required in the Health and Safety Executive's Guidance - HSG 248, "Asbestos: The analysts’ guide". The RICE scheme tests proficiency in the use of the optical microscopy method of counting asbestos fibres and satisfactory performance is mandatory for accreditation of this analysis to ISO 17025.

On completion of four rounds laboratories are classified with the performance category 1, 2 or 3 where Category 1 represents GOOD performance, 2 is ACCEPTABLE (but needs improvement), while Category 3 is UNSATISFACTORY performance.