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ANAB Webinar: Evaluating Reference Materials (RMs) and Certified Reference Materials (CRMs) for Laboratories

July 18 @ 2:00 pm 3:00 pm EDT

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Join ANAB and Senior Manager of Accreditation, Inspection, Laboratories, and Related Activities, Patrick Selig for another informing ANAB webinar!

As part of the requirements of ISO/IEC 17025:2017, General requirements for the competence of testing and calibration laboratories, laboratories are required to establish and maintain metrological traceability of measurement results (6.5.1). Metrological traceability is defined by ISO/IEC Guide 99 as the property of a measurement result whereby the result can be related to a reference through a documented unbroken chain of calibrations, each contributing to the measurement uncertainty.

Metrological traceability of measurements can be attained in numerous ways, including certified values of certified reference materials provided by a competent producer. A competent producer is considered a reference material producer (RMP) meeting the requirements of ISO 17034, General requirements for the competence of reference material producers. A reference material producer is a body (organization or company, public or private) that is fully responsible for project planning and management; assignment of, and decision on property values and relevant uncertainties; authorization of property values; and issuance of reference material certificate or other statements for the reference material it produces [ISO Guide 30].

Laboratories must evaluate accredited reference materials (RMs) and certified reference materials (CRMs) to ensure the materials are fit for the laboratory’s intended purpose. Depending on the intended use of the materials, laboratories may need RMs or CRMs. RMs have their place in the laboratory, as well, but cannot be used to establish metrological traceability. Rather RMs may be used for secondary checks and system suitability standards, among other uses. To ensure the correct materials are used, the laboratory needs to know the intended use of the materials. Once the laboratory’s measurement needs are identified, it should be clear if a CRM is needed. Then, it is the responsibility of the laboratory to determine if RM or CRM is suitable for the intended use.

Join ANAB for a complimentary webinar on Evaluating Reference Materials (RMs) and Certified Reference Materials (CRMs) for laboratories.

Key Takeaways

  • Understand metrological traceability requirements for laboratories
  • Understand the definitions of RMs and CRMs
  • Learn appropriate intended uses of RMs and CRMs
  • Learn how to evaluate RM and CRM documents

ANAB provides additional information and guidance on purchasing and evaluating reference materials in guidance document, GD 2708, Guidance on Purchasing and Evaluating Reference Materials and blog posts on Evaluating RMs and CRMs for Laboratories and The Difference Between RM Documents: Product Information Sheets vs RM Certificates.


Patrick Selig is a Graduate of Purdue Fort Wayne with a Master’s of Science degree in Biology. His goal is to work towards improving the lives of others by means of Accreditation, Continuous Improvement, Public Outreach, and Education. He is an Accreditation Manager of Laboratories and Related Systems and Qualified Lead Assessor with ANAB, where he is directly responsible for the day to day accreditation and coordination of over 200 laboratories, reference material producers, and proficiency test providers within the ISO/IEC 17025 Testing/Sampling, ISO 17034 RMP, and ISO/IEC 17043 PTP programs.