Pan-African Cement Proficiency-Testing-Scheme (PACE-PTS)



General information

The Pan-African Cement Proficiency Testing Scheme (PACE-PTS) is a joint cooperation between the BAM Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing and the German Metrology Institute (PTB). It gives opportunity for public and private laboratories to self-assess their laboratory performance and to increase their network and skills due to a supplementary evaluation workshop. After 2012, 2014, and 2016 the PACE-PTS in 2020 is the fourth Africa-wide proficiency testing scheme. It is funded within the framework of the German Development Cooperation. The evaluation workshops were organised in Berlin, Tanzania, and Cameroon in 2013 and 2015, and 2017, respectively.


The cement PT scheme was set up in 2012 with the aim of establishing a cement-testing network for Africa. Testing the quality of cement is an important task in order to ensure the safety of construction. PTs are evaluations of participants’ performance against pre-established criteria by means of inter-laboratory comparisons. Proficiency tests are a precondition for accreditation to ISO/IEC 17025.


Private and public laboratories involved in cement testing, and which are competent to analyse the fundamental physical and chemical properties of cement, are encouraged to participate. The costs for the participation in the PT scheme differ in price between public laboratories (universities and governmental) and private laboratories (see fees below). The attendance of the final workshop is open for all participants. Funding for participation will be available for delegates from African public laboratories who submit results.


The PACE-PTS will cover testing of the most relevant physical and chemical properties of cement. The final testing programme will be announced later. The required raw materials (cement, sand, extra items) will be sent out to all registered participants for the analysis. The results need to be submitted by a deadline, which will be fixed as soon as the registration is closed. After the analysis of the results, each laboratory will receive an anonymised report about the statistical results and an assignment number to identify the individual laboratory’s statistics.

At the end of the PT scheme a final workshop will take place that is open for all participants to analyse and discuss the results of the executed tests, with discussions of corrective measures and the way forward. The workshop participation is supported by the funding scheme for public laboratories.


Public laboratories (Universities and Government)100 USD including shipping costs
Private laboratories (Industries)300 USD including shipping costs

After receipt of the registration forms participants will receive an invoice with bank details for payment transfer.
The fees cover shipping of testing materials and the final report as well as the provision of a final workshop including a training module (the location of that workshop will be announced later).


As in the previous PTs, proficiency testing will be performed according to the European Standards with documented results according to a specified format.

The mandatory investigations include the following:

Test item Specification
Loss on Ignition EN 196-2:2013
Insoluble residue EN 196-2:2013
Chloride content EN 196-2:2013
Sulfate content EN 196-2:2013
Specific surface (Blaine) EN 196-6:2019
Standard consistence EN 196-3:2017
Initial setting time EN 196-3:2017
Final setting time EN 196-3:2017
Flexural strength after 2 and 28 days EN 196-1:2016
Compressive strength after 2 and 28 days EN 196-1:2016
SoundnessEN 196-3:2017
Flexural strength after 7 daysEN 196-1:2016
Compressive strength after 7 daysEN 196-1:2016
Particle size distributionEN 933-1:2012
Flow properties with reference cementAccording to specifications
Flow properties with local cementAccording to specifications

Expression of interest to register as regional coordination laboratory

Laboratories that are willing to participate as regional coordinators of the PT are welcome to express their interest to adopt a role as lead laboratory in a specific region (e.g. West Africa, East Africa, etc.). Regional coordinators play a responsible role in the scheme by keeping in contact with regional peer laboratories, mentoring and provision of support. The regional coordination laboratories will also be involved in the scientific utilisation of the results, such as publications and presentations.

Expression of interest to host the final group workshop

The final results will be presented to the group in a joint workshop organised by one of the partner laboratories. If your laboratory has the capacity and is willing to host a group of 25-40 international laboratory representatives, please indicate this in the registration. Due to uncertainties with respect international travelling due to the ongoing pandemic situation, the planes workshop might be held online or as a hybrid event.


Registration is closed.

Name of Laboratory:
Postal Address:
Public Institute (Yes/No):
Contact Person:
Interest to be regional coordination lab
- which region?
Interest to host the final workshop