JRC-Geel provides a metrological interlaboratory comparison scheme to enable the benchmarking of laboratory performance. The International Measurement Evaluation Programme IMEP aims to build up confidence where trade or border crossing problems exist. IMEP provides support to EU policies and the chemical measurement system of the enlarged EU assisting in the development of the national measurement systems. The common goal is to prove the reliability of measurement results.
IMEP interlaboratory comparisons are focusing on chemical measurements in matrices such as sediment, rice, wine, water, fish, human serum and fuel. Samples are offered for interlaboratory comparisons to distinct laboratory communities that have different metrological responsibilities. This enables to demonstrate their measurement capabilities across the European and international measurement infrastructure, particularly when identical samples are used.
Since 1988 IMEP has shed light on the actual state of practice in chemical measurement performance. In those early days IMEP became internationally known because it was one of the few interlaboratory comparison schemes that was not based on consensus values derived from participants’ results. Contrary to the common belief, the results of the various IMEP comparisons showed an unexpected large spread of participants’ results even for simple measurements, far from laboratories own quoted standards of accuracy.