How to Read a CoA

What is a CoA?

A Certificate of Analysis (CoA) is a document provided by the laboratory that summarises the results of tests and analyses performed on a specific product.

CoAs are commonly used in industries such as pharmaceuticals, food and beverages, chemicals and manufacturing to ensure the quality and safety of products.

How to Read a CoA

Header Example

The header of the CoA should always be checked first to confirm that the information pertaining to the CoA is correct.

What to Look for

Dates on Report
Check that the sample ID/Batch number aligns with the ID of your product
Sample Matrix
Make sure the
sample matrix is correct
Approved and Issued by
Check that the CoA has
been signed and issued

What consumers should look for

Dates on Report

Consumers should check the date of the report to make sure the CoA is relevant.

Name of Laboratory

Make sure that the results came from the correct laboratory.

Product Name

Make sure that you are referencing the correct product on the CoA.

Batch/Sample ID

Consumers should check if the product comes from the batch reported on the CoA.

Test Results

Summary of Results

The test summary section contains an overview of the tests conducted on the sample and a brief look at the results.

What to Look for

Tests Conducted
Make sure that you
understand the types of tests
Results of the Testing
Pay attention to the
results of the tests that have
been conducted.
Measurement of Results
Make sure that you understand the measurement used for reporting i.e. percentage, mg/kg.

What consumers should look for

Tests Conducted

Consumers should know what tests have been conducted on the product.

Results of Testing

Consumers should make sure that results are acceptable and are advertised on the product.

Notes & Disclaimers

Please make sure to read any disclaimers and notes that are found on the CoA as it provides crucial information.


Make sure to read the footnotes attached to the summary page as it provides crucial information for interpreting the data on the CoA.

Test Results

Full Reports

Full reports break down the test summary mentioned above into further detail. The results and length of the CoAs are dependent on the tests that have been conducted on the product.

Key Measurements


Tests such as potency, terpenes, moisture and total ash are reported as a percentage.


Heavy metals and pesticides are an example of tests reported as milligrams per kilogram.


Tests such as residual solvents are conducted and reported as parts per million.


Microbials or biological testing are generally presented as colony-forming unit per gram.

What to Look for

What Has Been Tested

This is a list of analytes that have been tested for and their results.

Method Used

This is the method used for testing the sample as well as the equipment.


This is the calculation used to work out the results

The header of each report tells you exactly which compounds are being tested for. Whether this be potency, terpenes, residual solvents, etc. The method code column describes the method used to test for the respective analyte. The LOR column defines the limits of detection for the analyte.

Generally, potency and terpenes are reported as percentages. This can vary depending on the test that has been conducted and the sample matrix. Products listed as an oil or liquid are reported as millilitres instead of a percentage.

What to Look for

Subcontracted Work

Look for the tests conducted by one of our subcontracted laboratories.

Acceptance Criterion

Look for an acceptance criterion for specific testing and whether the samples fall within range.

For specific tests such as heavy metals or microbials the results are reported according to its own method. To find out if the test has been subcontracted to our partner lab, a description is placed with an asterisk (*) under the method code section.

What consumers should look for

Analyte Tested

Consumers should check the relevant analyte that has been tested.

Subcon Testing

Make sure that the results came from the laboratory or subcontracted laboratory.

Method Testing

The method of testing as well as the equipment used for testing should be noted.

Acceptance Criterion

Make sure that the results that have an acceptance criterion are within the limits.


Footer Example

The footer of the CoA is just as important as the header. This is where the name and signature of the technical signatory is placed. This is to legitimise and sign off on the CoA. The footer also contains the date of signing, the date reported and the sample ID.

What to Look for

Dates on Report
Signed Report

What consumers should look for

Sample/Batch ID

Consumers should check if the product comes from the batch reported on the CoA.

Technical Signatory

Make sure that the technical signatory's name and signature are on the report.