Launch of the EA MLA Scope for Reference Material Producers

2019-06-27T09:01:20+00:00June 27th, 2019|Multilateral Agreement|

The Multilateral Agreement Council confirms the launching of the EA MLA for the accreditation of Reference Material Producers (RMP) with the following signatories: ACCREDIA, CAI, ENAC, INAB, RvA, TURKAK and UKAS.

Due to the important role of Reference Materials regarding the transfer of the values of measured or assigned quantities between testing, analytical and measurement laboratories, and accordingly the competence of Reference Material Producers, EA decided to launch a new scope of the EA MLA for the accreditation of Reference Material Producers.

The EA Multilateral Agreement (EA MLA) is a signed agreement between the EA Members whereby the signatories recognize and accept the equivalence of the accreditation systems operated by the signing members, and also the reliability of the conformity assessment results provided by Conformity Assessment Bodies (CABs) accredited by the signing members. It makes the objective ‘Accredited once, accepted everywhere’ effective.

In preparation for the MLA, the Laboratory Committee (LC) organized a workshop in 2017 on the accreditation of Reference Material Producers. The workshop was based on a train-the-trainer model with a view to share understanding of the international standard ISO 17034:2016 General requirements for the competence of reference material producers and its application in accreditation assessments. It was also largely beneficial to potential ISO 17034 peer-evaluators as it strengthened a harmonized approach to these peer-evaluations.

In accordance with EA rules, three positive peer-evaluations of EA Members were needed to launch the RMP MLA. RMP signatories were peer-evaluated in 2018 and 2019 and the EA MAC during their last meeting in May 2019 (Reykjavik, Iceland), based on the peer-evaluation reports, decided to grant the EA MLA signatory status for RMP to the following National Accreditation Bodies: ACCREDIA, CAI, ENAC, INAB, RvA, TURKAK and UKAS.

But… Who is using RMP?

Users of Reference Materials are Testing Laboratories, Proficiency Testing Providers (PTP) and, to a lesser extent, Calibration Laboratories. Purposes for the use of Reference materials include:

– Establishment of metrological traceability of measurement results

– Validation of test methods

– Quality control

The launching of the EA MLA for RMPs in May 2019 and the forthcoming ILAC recognition within the worldwide MRA for RMPs, will probably boost the number of organizations seeking accreditation according to ISO 17034.

By the end of 2018, around 57 Reference Material Producers were accredited (see EA MLA Report 2018).