Chemistry International
Vol. 22, No.2, March 2000

2000, Vol. 22
No. 2 (March)
..News from IUPAC
..West Africa Chemical Society
..Reports from Symposia

..Awards and Prizes
..New Books
..Reports from Commissions
..Conference Announcements

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Chemistry International
Vol. 22, No. 2
March 2000


News from IUPAC

Report on the EURACHEM 10th Anniversary Meeting and the EURACHEM Full Committee Meeting,

Helsinki, Finland,
16-19 June 1999

Dr. A. Fajgelj has submitted the following report:

As a member of the EURACHEM Committee and as the IUPAC liaison person, I attended the annual meeting of EURACHEM. This year, EURACHEM celebrates the 10th anniversary of its founding, and a one-day conference was organized on this occasion. I gave an invited oral presentation on "Current and future programs of IUPAC".

A network of organizations in Europe, EURACHEM was established in 1989 to provide a system for the international traceability of chemical measurements and to promote good quality assurance practices. It provides a forum for the discussion of common problems and for developing an informed and considered approach to both technical and policy issues. EURACHEM today comprises 18 full members (European and European Free Trade Association [EFTA] countries) and 10 associate members. There are also 11 observer or liaison organizations (AOAC International, Cooperation on International Traceability in Analytical Chemistry [CITAC], EUROLAB, Association of European Institutes for Metrology [EUROMET], Consultative Committee on Amount of Substance [CCQM], European Accreditation [EA], International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation [ILAC], IUPAC, etc.). The goals of EURACHEM are to:

  • promote best practices and develop networks for collaboration,
  • develop international comparability of chemical measurements,
  • provide a framework for cooperation in establishing traceability,
  • establish national EURACHEM groups and provide input to other international organizations, and
  • raise awareness among decision makers and develop broad-based education and training.

Most of the work of EURACHEM is carried out by Working Groups (WGs). At the moment, there are four active WGs: Education and Training, Measurement Uncertainty, Reference Materials, and Proficiency Testing. The WGs mainly organize workshops and produce guides. The following guides have been published by EURACHEM alone or in cooperation with other organizations:

  • Accreditation for Chemical Laboratories, Guidance on the Interpretation of the EN 45000 Series of Standards and ISO/IEC Guide 25, EURACHEM/WELAC Guide (1993)
  • Accreditation for Laboratories Performing Microbiological Testing, EURACHEM (1996)
  • Quantifying Uncertainty in Analytical Measurement, EURACHEM Guide (1995)
  • Quality Assurance for Research and Development and Nonroutine Analysis, EURACHEM/CITAC Guide (1998)
  • The Fitness for Purpose of Analytical Methods, A Laboratory Guide to Method Validation and Related Topics, EURACHEM (1998).

These guides have gained a large international acceptance and are also followed in the countries that are not official members of EURACHEM.

EURACHEM's program includes workshops on traceability (Bratislava, 1999), QA and computers (Berlin, 1999), reference materials (Berlin, 2000), proficiency testing (Boras, 2000), and sampling (Delft, 2001). The most important work regarding the EURACHEM guides will be the revision of the guide Accreditation for Chemical Laboratories, Guidance on the Interpretation of the EN 45000 Series of Standards and ISO/IEC Guide 25 (1993), which should reflect the changes of the ISO Guide 25 that is now being transferred to the ISO 17025 Standard.

In the last three years, a strong cooperation between IUPAC's Interdivisional Working Party on Harmonization of Quality Assurance Schemes for Analytical Laboratories and EURACHEM has been established. As a result, IUPAC's recently published Harmonized Guidelines for the Use of Recovery Information in Analytical Measurement (Pure Appl. Chem., Vol. 71, No. 2, pp. 337-348, 1999) have been endorsed by EURACHEM. Future cooperation was also foreseen at the Workshop on Principles and Practices of Method Validation held in November 1999, in Budapest, Hungary, where EURACHEM was also formally represented.


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