Have you participated in the development  of test methods?

Have any of them used a term such as “ calibration material ”,  “ reference  substance ”,  or “quality  control  material ” ?

Then you have already come across what are formally called   “ Reference   Materials ”.

As technology and trade advance, the need for reliable and accurate measurement results acceptable to (inter)national producers, customers and regulators  increases.  This in turn requires traceable materials for use in the calibration and validation of measurement  methods.  These are the so- called “ reference materials ”. They are essential instruments for quality assurance  when  confidence  and  reliability of measurement  data  is important and where a laboratory’s competence needs to be demonstrated.

ISO’s new committee on reference materials is TC 334. It has the responsibility  to encourage  the international harmonization and promotion of reference materials, their production,  and their application. TC 334’s duties therefore include :

•  Establishing definitions, categories, and performance  characteristics of reference materials for use by ISO.

• Preparing standards for technical committees for making reference to reference materials in ISO documents.

So,  if  your  committee  is  working  on a test method  and you want to make sure  it  adopts  best  practice   regarding reference materials for calibration, validation and  performance control, then you should  consult TC 334 and their documents : ISO/TC 334

42nd meeting

ISO/TC 334 is the ISO Committee on Reference Materials that  carries out and encourages a broad international effort for the harmonization and promotion of reference materials, their production and their application. Its vision is to be the global centre of excellence with respect to issues relating to reference materials.

The new Committee, is a direct replacement for the previous ISO committee, ISO/REMCO,  which celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2015. The role of this committee was essentially guidance, and had developed five ISO Guides and contributed to symposia, workshops and congresses. ISO/TC 334 new role and activities will focus on procedures for the production and use of reference materials, and the conversion of the appropriate guidance documents into related ISO standards. To fulfil this mandate, ISO/TC 334 interacts  with  both stakeholders  and clients.

A historical 'Introduction to ISO/REMCO' is available by clicking here


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