Certified Reference Materials

The use of certified reference materials (CRMs) and reference materials (RMs) provides one of the ‘foundation stones’ for quality assurance in both measurement, and calibration laboratories. Used correctly, they provide a direct route to verification of assigned measurement values.

Reference materials, by definition may be used for the calibration of an apparatus, for the assessment of measurement methods, for establishing traceability of the measurement results, or for determining the measurement uncertainty associated with measurement results. All these fields of RM application are integral laboratory activities and as such are included in ISO/IEC 17025 — the most widely used standard for laboratory accreditation.

For this reason i.e. their use in regulated environments, RM users expect their RM producers to demonstrate a similar level of quality, with respect to the production, and metrological properties of their products. This is increasingly done via accreditation according to international guidance on requirements for the competence of reference material producers (ISO Guide 34 and ILAC G12), in conjunction with ISO/IEC 17025.