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ASTM Workshop on the Impact of Accreditation on Reference Materials and Method Development in Analytical Laboratories Supporting the Metals and Ores Industries


ASTM International Committee E01 on Analytical Chemistry of Metals, Ores and Related Materials held a workshop, "Impact of Accreditation on Reference Materials and Method Development in Analytical Laboratories Supporting the Metals and Ores Industries," on May 19, 2014, at the Gaithersburg, MD, campus of the National Institute of Standards and Technology. The workshop took place the day before the semiannual meeting for E01, which happened at NIST on May 20 & 21, 2014.

Ever-increasing testing demands for metals, alloys, ores, and mining byproducts have been accompanied by more complex requirements for quality system accreditation. Because many industry test methods for chemical metrology require numerous reference materials for calibration and quality assurance, the accreditation of certified reference material producers has become more demanding as well.

Accreditation processes that tighten requirements for approval of reference materials used in industry laboratories may needlessly restrict the supply of reference materials and negatively impact the quality of test results unless the requirements are understood and agreed to by all impacted parties.

The workshop brought together experts from standards development, accreditation, reference materials development, testing labs and product quality assurance to explore the complex intersection of these topics. The goal was to share insights and rationales for streamlining these processes and for creating a continuing venue for cooperation.

This workshop was not intended as a training event. The purpose was to bring together metals industry labs, accreditation bodies, CRM producers, and NIST to discuss the relationships among the various parties and to begin to work together to harmonize the roles of organizations on all sides of the issue. The workshop did not explain how to attain accreditation of a laboratory, nor did it explain the proper use of reference materials, except in the context of any requirements established by accreditation bodies. The participants discussed whether said requirements for use of CRMs and in-house RMs are appropriate and correct.

E01 Committee on Analytical Chemistry of Metals, Ores and Related Materials

ASTM posts the E01 committee and meeting information at this link: There you can find a list of subcommittees, standards documents and work items. ASTM welcomes participation in the development of its standards. The committee welcomes all participants to its meetings and workshops, whether ASTM members or not.

Reference Documentation

Discussions involved quality system standards, such as ISO 17025 and the Guide 30 series, ASTM E2857-11, and industry accreditation documents. It is recommended to familiarize yourself with these and other relevant documents.

Related Project(s)

Subsequent to this workshop, ASTM Committee E01 developed E2972-15 Standard Guide for Production, Testing, and Value Assignment of In-House Reference Materials for Metals, Ores, and Other Related Materials. This standard is recommended reading for laboratory managers, quality assurance officers, and laboratory accreditation auditors.

The event included a set of presentations by organizations representing the several sides of the conjunction of quality systems, accreditation of labs, requirements by the customers of metals producers, and producers of reference materials.

The agenda consisted of presentations by representatives of Committee E01, supplier laboratories, the International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation, Nadcap, NIST, accrediting bodies, and commercial CRM producers.

The afternoon session included a "round table" discussion with the primary goals of 1) establishing procedures for continued interactions of the primary participants; 2) recommending and prioritizing relevant activities for ASTM Committee E01.

ASTM/NIST Workshop Agenda
May 19, 2014

8:30 AMWelcomeR. van ZeeNational Institute of Standards and Technology
8:40 AMIntroductionsJ. SieberNational Institute of Standards and Technology
8:45 AMIntroduction of ASTM and Committee E01T. O'TooleASTM International
9:00 AMExplanation of Issues for Metals Analysis LaboratoriesP. ColeCommittee E01, Chairman, ATI Specialty Materials
9:30 AMILAC presentationP. UngerInternational Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation
10:15 AMAccreditation Bodies presentationsM. SicaANSI ANAB
D. BergPerry Johnson, Inc.
R. QuerryA2LA
11:00 AMNadcap presentationK. WetzelPerformance Review Institute
11:45 AMCertified Reference Materials Producers presentationsD. GeistAnalytical Reference Materials International
C. EveleighMBH Analytical
J. GastLECO Corp.
1:30 PMNISTJ. Sieber, S. Bruce and R. WattersNational Institute of Standards and Technology
2:45 PMRoundtable discussionSpeakers and all attendees
4:00 PMAction Items - Formal plansP. Cole and J. Sieber
5:00 PMAdjourn

Presentations Slides

    (Download in pdf format)

  1.  The Impact of Reference Material Issues on Metal and Ore Chemical Analysis Laboratories – P. Cole
  2.  The ILAC Mutual Recognition Arrangement (MRA) for Reference Material Producer (RMP) Accreditation – P. Unger
  3.  Reference Materials in the Accreditation Framework – M. Sica
  4.  RMs/CRMs in ISO/IEC 17025 Quality Systems – RMP Quality Systems and Traceability – D. Berg
  5.  American Association for Laboratory Accreditation – R. Querry
  6.  PRI and Nadcap Overview – K. Wetzel
  7.  Capabilities and Requirements of a Commercial CRM Producer – D. Geist
  8.  Commentary from MBH Analytical – C. Eveleigh
  9.  Effects of ISO Guide 34 for Reference Material Production – J. Gast
  10.  NIST Role in the U.S. Measurement System for Industrial Commodities – J. Sieber, S. Bruce, R. Watters

Video Recordings of Presentations

    (MP4 video files - Click on any presentation below for video page)

  1.  Presentation by P. Cole, Chairman of ASTM Committee E01
  2.  Presentation by P. Unger, representing the International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation
  3.  Presentations by representatives of Accrediting Bodies – M. Sica, D. Berg, R. Querry, and K. Wetzel
  4.  Presentations by Reference Materials Producers – D. Geist, C. Eveleigh, and J. Gast
  5.  Presentations by J. Sieber, S. Bruce, and R. Watters, Jr., National Institute of Standards and Technology
Created January 24, 2014, Updated July 19, 2016