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Accreditation of Reference Material Producers: The Example of IRMM's Reference Materials Unit

The potential approaches for third-party assessment of reference material producers are revisited and the activities of the Reference Materials (RM) Unit of the Institute for Reference Materials and Measurements (IRMM) to obtain accreditation to ISO Guide 34 and ISO 17025 are described. Accreditation was achieved for the Unit, as all matrix RM activities of the institute are concentrated there. A management system was established that allows suffiecient freedom to be applicable to a wide range of RMs while being precise enough to ensure compliance with ISO Guides 30, 31 and especially 34 and 35. Accreditation was achieved in 2004 with independent scopes for testing and RM production and was confirmed and extended in 2005. The key point of the RM Unit management system for RM production are given.