United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)

Laboratory Performance Evaluation Studies



The GEMS/Water Performance Evaluation (PE) Program consists of a series of intercomparison studies designed to evaluate the reliability and comparability of water quality data from laboratories in United Nations member states worldwide. The purpose of these studies is to provide participants with Quality Control (QC) resources and detailed feedback on analytical performance.


  • Ensure the comparability and reliability of water quality analyses performed by laboratories around the world
  • Support water quality laboratories in the GEMS/Water Global Lab Network in producing reliable data for their national water quality monitoring programs
  • Encourage a commitment to sound quality management and the improvement of analytical proficiency

Study Design:

  • Test samples for Nutrients, Demand analyses (BOD, COD, TOC), pH, Minerals, Metals, Solids (residue analyses), Microbiological tests (coliforms, enterococci). Progressive increases in scope are being considered for future studies (e.g. persistent organic pollutants).
  • A certified Quality Control (QC) sample for each analyte group with known concentration levels to enable laboratories to verify accuracy and to apply corrective actions, if necessary
  • Single-blind Performance Evaluation (PE) samples for each analyte group
  • Instructions and reporting forms provided in English, French, Spanish, and Russian
  • Each participant receives a custom performance evaluation report that clearly illustrates the data quality and analytical performance of each analyte for which they provided measurement results

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