User support

The JRC’s Institute for Reference Materials and Measurements (IRMM) is systematically developing additional supporting tools to satisfy the needs of reference material users. It provides dedicated training courses introducing the practice of uncertainty estimation and covering topics such as certified reference materials (CRMs) in calibration, proving laboratory proficiency using CRMs, correct handling of CRMs, identification of available CRMs and selection amongst them. The theoretical knowledge is applied in exercises which take about half of the total course time. These courses are targeted towards practitioners in the laboratory as well as to accreditation bodies.

Moreover, IRMM issues explanatory and guidance documents for specified reference material uses or application sectors. For instance, so-called Application Notes published in various languages are designed to help laboratory personnel with exploiting the full potential of certified reference materials. In addition, a helpdesk operated by the reference material distribution team of IRMM and a web-based collection of 'Frequently Asked Questions' are available.

Finally, JRC-IRMM also developed guidance documents on the use of reference material in the specific areas of GMO and genetic testing.