Why add a new accreditation?
EffecTech has been accredited to ISO 17025 for over 20 years, and has been now granted accreditation to ISO 17034 as a producer of reference material by the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS).
A reference gas mixture used to provide traceability and accuracy in analytical measurements can be considered as both a calibration gas and a reference material. Historically, these reference gases have been certified following calibration under the scope of ISO 17025. However, due to an increasing demand for calibration gas mixtures containing reactive gases which have a limited stability period, a shelf life assessment has to be undertaken so that an expiry date can be included on the certificate issued with the gas mixture. Calibration under ISO 17025 accreditation does not include a requirement for the assessment of stability or homogeneity; in fact the standard expressly prohibits the inclusion of an expiry date on the certificate of calibration. The production of a certified reference material (CRM) under ISO 17034 accreditation requires this assessment and the mandatory inclusion of a defendable stability period on the CRM certificate. The supply of a calibration gas mixture as a certified reference material under this accreditation is now considered best practice.
The stability of EffecTech’s reference gas mixtures has always been assessed and included on certificates of calibration for the benefit of the customer. However, the stability statement has always been disclaimed as being outside the scope of accreditation. Under the scope of accreditation for ISO 17034 as a producer of reference materials such shelf lives can now be included on the CRM certificate.
For more details about the differences in requirements of ISO 17034 and ISO 17025, please see Section 9.3, ‘Certificates under ISO/IEC 17025 and ISO 17034’ in the standard ISO 14167: 2018 – Gas analysis — General quality aspects and metrological traceability of calibration gas mixtures.