Capacity Building
Proficiency Test Training Courses

Enhancing the technical proficiency of laboratories who wish to gain OPCW Designated Laboratory status.

These one-week courses aim at increasing Member State Laboratories’ readiness to successfully take the OPCW Proficiency Test and become an OPCW Designated Laboratory.

The courses take place at the OPCW laboratory in Rijswik and focus on analytical methods used to analyse substances listed, monitored, and covered by the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC).


  • Enhance the laboratories capabilities so they can properly support national chemical emergency response, by  identifying chemical agents involved. Identification will allow responders to operate with precise awareness of the threat and hazards present, and provide the correct medical treatment to the casualties.
  • Give laboratories adequate training in chemical analysis and other laboratory procedures to reach the required standard and pass OPCW’s Designated Laboratory Proficiency Test. 
  • Strengthen State Parties contribution to the Network of Designated Laboratories, so they can support international collaboration in terms of disarmament and preventing the re-emergence of chemical weapons.
Designated Laboratory

What is an OPCW Designated Laboratory?

An OPCW Designated Laboratory is a laboratory that has been accredited by the Organisation to perform off-site analysis of chemical samples collected by OPCW inspectors from chemical production facilities, storage depots and other installations, or from the site of an alleged use of chemical weapons.

These laboratories offer the necessary assurance to our States Parties that chemical analyses needed to make determinations or to clarify issues occurring during OPCW deployments are carried out competently, impartially, and with unambiguous results. 


What do Designated Laboratories need?

An established a quality system in accordance with the standards (ISO/IEC 17025:2005 or equivalent) and have valid accreditation by an internationally recognised accreditation body for the tasks for which it is seeking designation—namely, for the analysis of chemical-warfare agents and related compounds in various types of samples.

The laboratory must have performed successfully in OPCW’s Proficiency Testing Programme at least once per calendar year unless the additional guidelines in C-20/DEC.4 are applicable.