EA organized a workshop on Reference Materials Producers against ISO 17034:2016, hosted by ACCREDIA, the Italian NAB, on 30 and 31 May in Milan, Italy.

Last year, as part of the EA project to extend the EA MLA to include the accreditation of Proficiency Testing Providers against the requirements of ISO/IEC 17043, the EA Laboratory Committee (LC) ran a successful 2-day workshop in the UK on this activity. Following on from this, the EA project has turned its attention to extending the EA MLA to include the accreditation of Reference Material Producers. In a context of migration of accreditation from ISO Guide 34 to the new ISO 17034, the EA LC decided to plan an another 2-day workshop on accreditation of RMP.

This workshop, co-convened by Jeff Ruddle (UKAS, the UK NAB) and Henk Deckers (RvA, the Dutch NAB) was intended to support the expansion of the EA MLA to include ISO 17034 (not ISO Guide 34) and considered the differences between the two documents but all outcomes shall be based around ISO 17034.

22 NAB assessors and potential team members have been trained during these two days to discuss the experiences of NABs active in this area and share experiences to learn from each other in order to develop a common understanding of the key elements associated with assessing a RM Producer.
As Jeff Ruddle and Henk Deckers declared, “the 2 day workshop was very successful involving participants from 18 different EA Accreditation Bodies. The level of engagement from the participants was very high and it was encouraging to see a high level of agreement on the approach that should be taken for the accreditation of Reference Material Producers to ISO 17034:2016. The workshop should also enable EA to progress with implementing peer evaluations to support an MLA for ISO 17034:2016 accreditation which will provide international recognition for Reference Material Producers accredited by EA Member Bodies”.

The outcome of this workshop has been especially beneficial to potential ISO 17034 peer evaluators as it has strengthened the harmonized approach to these evaluations. «Key activities such as subcontracting, production planning, metrological traceability, homogeneity and stability have been covered and some issues related will be raised to next EA LC Committee», declares Giulia Suriani, EA LC member for ACCREDIA.

Similarly, delegates from NABs looking to become signatories to the new MLA have obtained a sound understanding of what the expectations of the peer evaluation would be to greatly aid their preparation activities.