Informing Spectroscopists for Over 40 Years

Quality Matters Columns

Peter Jenks and Alan Nichols plot a path through the accreditation jungle and decide that “Confidence: the key to quality”. With increasing numbers of readers’ labs requiring auditing, ensuring that the reference materials and standards you are using meet the requirements of the auditors is essential.

Next year, a new version of ISO/IEC 17025 will be published, which is going to mean changes for all those involved in quality systems. Peter Jenks investigates.

“Is your spectrometer in calibration?” ask Chris Burgess and John Hammond. The answer may not be as straightforward as you might think. However, Chris and John explain all.

Peter Jenks looks back to the BERM 14 conference on biological and environmental reference materials in the Quality Matters Column. The next conference in the series returns to Europe: Berlin in June 2018.

In the Quality Matters Column, Peter Jenks, Paul Boother and Annette Marshall are concerned about “The proper use of certified reference materials for analytical instrumentation qualification”. There are many aspects to consider in ensuring the validity of an analytical system, from before any instrumentation is installed, before it is used and during its use. Readers interested in the chemicals and reference material field may be interested in the news that, as this issue was being prepared, Merck completed its $17-billion acquisition of Sigma-Aldrich.

In the “The analysis of poly aromatic compounds: a never-ending story?”, Peter Jenks reports from the 25th International Symposium on Poly Aromatic Compounds. He was disappointed to find the near total absence of mention of the use of CRMs in method development or as a calibration material. He concludes that “data from the academic and research community often acts as a stimulus for government concern and the data may ultimately may result in legislation. It concerns me that legislation may be driven by bad data”.

John Hammond updates us on “Reference materials: what’s new?”. The 2015 meeting of the ISO Committee on Reference Materials (ISO/REMCO) was held in June and significant developments in a number of standards that will ultimately affect all users of reference materials have taken place.

In the Quality Matters Column, Peter Jenks reminds us about “BERM 14: it’s that time again!”. The latest in this line of conferences on Biological and Environmental Reference Materials is being held in the USA in October 2015.

C. Burgess and J.P. Hammond outline the work that has been undertaken to modernise the spectroscopic General Chapters in the United States Pharmacopeia (USP).

Peter Jenks seeks to show where it is important to check the CRM or RM you are using includes a clear statement of commutability, and when and where it can be largely ignored.