National Physical Laboratory

International standardisation and traceability

Standards and traceability are important to ensure that measurements are comparable between laboratories, that data are defendable and meet accreditation standards often required in industry. Measurements made in industry are supported by documentary standards through ISO (the International Standards Organisation), which in turn are developed and validated through pre-normative research such as interlaboratory studies by VAMAS (Versailles Project on Advanced Materials and Standards). Where nation-to-nation intercomparability is legally required, or traceability to the SI units is required, then intercomparisons are conducted under the auspices of the consultative committees under CIPM (the International Committee for Weights and Measures).

The inter-relationship of these standards bodies is schematically shown below:


Schematic showing inter-relationship of standards bodies relevant to surface chemical analysis

Schematic showing inter-relationship of standards bodies relevant to surface chemical analysis


The NPL Surface & Nanoanalysis Group is very active in ISO (through TC201 and TC229), in VAMAS (through TWA2) and in CCQM (through SAWG). Please see below to find out more information on what we are doing in each area.

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