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The new International Standard ISO 17034: general requirements for the competence of reference material producers

The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) has published ISO 17034:2016 on the minimum requirements for the competence of reference material producers. Previously these requirements were addressed in ISO Guide 34:2009, originally developed by the ISO Committee on Reference Materials (ISO/REMCO). The need for an International Standard was triggered as several accreditation bodies could not accredit to a guide, at all, while in other countries ISO Guide 34 could only serve as accreditation standard in combination with ISO/IEC 17025. For the transformation into a conformity assessment standard of the ISO/IEC 17000 series, the ISO Committee on Conformity assessment (ISO/CASCO) and ISO/REMCO joined their forces. A Joint Working Group, formed by experts and stakeholders from both committees, finalised the transformation within two years. During the transformation, the structure of ISO 17034 has been aligned with other ISO/IEC 17000 series standards and the content of ISO 17034 has been harmonised with the recent editions of other relevant ISO Guides. Requirements for the production of reference materials were elaborated on more clearly in the new standard, specifying the requirements for (non-certified) reference materials and the additional requirements for certified reference materials. The new International Standard ISO 17034:2016 supersedes ISO Guide 34:2009.