Frequently asked questions

I am a new client. How do I access your services?

Thank you for your interest in sending work to our laboratory for analysis. There are a number of steps we require new clients to follow in order to begin your first analysis with Southern Cross Plant Science. These are as follows:

1. Please complete the SCPS New Client Form and return to us via email at .

2. Please download the most relevant form for the type of analysis you would like performed on your sample/s:

3. Please complete the relevant sample submission form and post it, along with your samples, to the following address: 

Analytical Research Laboratory
Southern Cross University
Reception, Level 3, T Block
Military Rd
East Lismore NSW 2480

4. Once your samples and paperwork have been received and processed, we will send you a full quote or invoice for your analyses. For new clients we require payment in advance before we are able to begin your analysis. Once payment is cleared we will send you a confirmation email letting you know your work has begun and the expected date that your results will be completed.

We offer a standard turnaround time of 10 working days, or a priority turnaround time of 5 working days which attracts a 100% surcharge on the relevant jobs. Your results will be issued as a Certificate of Analyses in PDF form by email, and a hard copy will be sent in the post – please let us know if you do not require paper copies.

Please feel welcome to contact us with any further enquiries via arl@scu.edu.au.

5. Confirming your sample details

After you have sent your samples in to be analysed, our login staff manually transcribe the details from your paperwork into our database. For this reason it is essential that details are completed accurately and clearly. Please do not assume we will know what you need - call to discuss if you are unsure.

Once the login process is complete, you will be sent a confirmation email. It is essential that you check the details of your samples (sample name, batch number, client name etc) at this stage and notify us immediately of any errors. Errors that are not corrected at this stage will ultimately result in the delay of your results – we will not accept any responsibility where an error has progressed through this stage and caused a delay in the issuing of your results.

How long does it take?

We offer an expedited turnaround time of 5 working days, which attracts a 100% surcharge on the relevant samples. If, after sending in your samples, you require your due date to be brought forward, please contact us IN WRITING to request an expedited turnaround. Your updated due date will be calculated as 5 working days from when we receive your request in writing, and your request will be acknowledged via email.

Please note that all work coming into our laboratory is processed in chronological order, with a first-in, first-out policy applying to both our standard and priority queues.

What if I don't get my results by the due date?

Occasionally your results will not be available within the specified time frame. If you have requested an expedited turnaround and we do not provide results within 5 working days, you will not be charged the 100% surcharge.

Some less common analyses generally take significantly longer than the standard 10 working day turnaround. These include:

  • ORAC (20 working days)
  • Multi-herbal authentication 
  • Microscopic/Macroscopic herbal authentication. 

Work which is subcontracted to another laboratory may also occasionally take longer than the specified turnaround. Subcontracted work which attracts additional lead time includes:

  • Pesticide residues
  • Flash point determination
  • Carbon 14 testing.

Have you received my sample?

We will send a confirmation email with all details of your samples on the day they are received, if they arrive in our laboratories by 12pm. Samples arriving after this time will be logged in the next working day.

Please be aware that we are a commercial laboratory operating as part of Southern Cross University. All mail sent with Australia Post and most couriers will be delivered to the University Mailroom, adding additional handling time to the delivery of your samples. Your TAT will be calculated from the date the samples arrive in our laboratory, not the University mailroom.

We have negotiated arrangements with several courier companies who will by-pass the mailroom and delivery directly to our reception desk. To avoid adding extra handling time to the receipt of your samples, we recommend sending them with one of the below companies, at your own discretion:

  • Fastway
  • Wizz
  • Toll IPEC.

How much does it cost?

Our fee structure is as follows. All of the prices quoted are exclusive of GST:

Herbal authentication:

Single herb - $230/sample

Microscopic/Macroscopic herbal authentication - $230/assay/sample

Multi-herb authentication - $350/sample (up to approx’ 10 herbs)

Essential oils:

GCFID - $105/sample

Chiral purity – $175/sample

Full Certificate of Analysis (Tea Tree Oil) - $253/sample

Full Certificate of Analysis (other oils) – between $216 and $253/sample

Quantitative assays:

Our fees for quantitative assays vary depending on the assay required. Most quantitative assays attract a set-up fee (charged once per consignment to allow for the equipment to be set up for your assay) and a per sample fee. The per sample fee is charged at full price for the first 5 identical samples, and half price for all identical samples thereafter.

Please feel welcome to contact us at arl@scu.edu.au for a quote.

How much sample should I send?

In order for us to carry out sufficient analyses, please ensure you send ample quantities of each sample. The below sample sizes are our minimum requirement – in general, we prefer to be sent enough sample to store in our retains collection for any potential future assays required (at least twice the minimum requirement):

  • For essential oil analyses, we generally require 10ml per sample. This will provide enough oil for a full CoA.
  • For a chiral purity analysis of essential oil, we require 1ml, however please be aware this does not allow enough sample for any further testing.
  • For herbal authentication we require 10g of powdered extract, or around 20 tablets/capsules. For raw materials, please send a representative sample of the whole plant – where possible, include leaf, stem, flower and seed, or a whole plant.
  • For quantitative assays we require a minimum of 10g or 20 capsules/tablets.

Please be mindful that there will be exceptions to the above rules – if your material or request is unusual or particularly difficult to assay, or if you require a variety of assays on one sample, we will need a larger quantity to carry out your request. Please ensure you contact us prior to sending your samples to check our requirements if you are unsure.