Measuring up

New ISO committee for reference materials.

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By Clare Naden
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The need for accurate measurement results that are comparable between laboratories anywhere in the world has never been greater. To achieve this, one needs metrologically traceable reference materials for use in the calibration and validation of measurement methods. These are known as certified reference materials or CRMs. Reference materials in general also play an important part in other aspects of quality assurance in testing, and a new ISO technical committee in this field has just been formed.

ISO/TC 334, Reference materials, will develop standards related to the competent production and use of reference materials, including the concepts, performance characteristics, terms and definitions related to reference materials. It replaces a former ISO committee known as ISO/REMCO, building on its existing work and developing new ISO deliverables for the future.

These include, as examples, ISO Guide 30:2015 (under revision), Reference materials – Selected terms and definitions, ISO Guide 33:2015, Reference materials – Good practice in using reference materials, and ISO Guide 35:2017, Reference materials – Guidance for characterization and assessment of homogeneity and stability.

New documents in development are ISO Guide 86.2, Guidance for pure reference materials for small organic molecules, and ISO Guide 87, Guidance for “pure” reference materials for metals and metalloids.

The committee consists of experts in a range of diverse fields from nearly 40 countries. Anyone interested in getting involved should contact their national ISO member.

The secretariat of ISO/TC 334 is held by SABS, the ISO member for South Africa.

Clare Naden
Clare Naden

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