Capacity Building
Analytical Skills Development Course

Assisting qualified analytical chemists to acquire practical experience in the analysis of chemicals under the Chemical Weapons Convention.

The Technical Secretariat conducts a number of analytical chemistry training courses, known as analytical skills development courses each year, for personnel from industry, academic institutions, and government laboratories.

The courses are conducted over two weeks and focus on the use of various analytical chemistry methods.

Courses can be tailored to specific audiences, address specific methods, or target specific regions (some courses are offered in different languages).

The OPCW relies on its network of laboratories, including its designated laboratories, for the delivery of such courses. Some courses are offered in the OPCW training facility in Rijswik.


  • Equip specialists with the requisite theoretical and practical skills and techniques to analyse chemicals, subject to the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC).
  • Enhance the capacities of relevant national institutions such as industry, academic institutions, and specialised laboratories, to implement the CWC.
  • Facilitate the adoption of good laboratory practices and broaden the pool of human resources from which National Authorities and the OPCW Secretariat can draw on in the future.
  • Build awareness for the applications of analytical chemistry and encourage related cooperation within the professional community.

Course Content

The first week of the course includes an introduction to the CWC and the OPCW; theoretical and practical training in basic aspects of analysis of chemicals under the convention; and training in standard uses of Gas-Chromatography (GC) covering hardware use, maintenance and optimisation, system validation and troubleshooting.

The second week provides an introduction to sample preparation (extraction, clean-up and derivatisation procedures) including both theoretical and hands-on training. The training on the use of analytical equipment is extended to GC with element specific detectors and GC coupled with Mass Spectrometry (GC/MS).