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4.4 International Standards Activities

Carroll Croarkin
Statistical Engineering Division, ITL

The Statistical Engineering Division supports the development of international standards, particularly those that impact measurement science, via participation on ISO Technical Committee 69 on Statistical Methods and sub-committee SC 6 on Measurement Methods. Clients for TC 69 standards are US industry and other technical committees of ISO which produce standards with statistical content.

Currently, several documents are under development within SC 6. A document on Capability of Detection outlines statistical methods for quantifying the smallest amount of a trace element which can be detected by an instrument. A document on Specification Limits has twin goals of outlining methods for the producer to set specification limits and methods for the consumer to test product for conformance against the agreed upon limits. And a document on Proficiency Testing is intended to provide the statistical underpinnings for documents on this subject that are being developed within the international organizations, such as CASCO, that are interested in laboratory accreditation.

Requirements of the ISO 9000 series have added impetus to the need for international standards on uncertainty analysis as engineers in metrology and test laboratories find themselves in need of guidance on data collection and analysis methods that are consistent with the procedures outlined in the ISO Guide to the Expression of the Uncertainty of Measurement (GUM). Croarkin is convenor of working group, ISO/TC69/SC6/WG7, which will develop two documents on statistical approaches to uncertainty analysis. The first is intended for test laboratories that do not have the resources or technical expertise to collect and analyze experimental data and will be built on results from interlaboratory tests.

The second is intended for metrology and scientific laboratories which are capable of collecting data to evaluate both short-term and long-term sources of error in the measurement process and have the capability of performing statistical analyses. This past year, WG7 presented a report to the full committee (available on the world wide web at which shows the direction that this guidance document will take. This activity is supported by several countries including the US, Denmark, Japan, France, UK, Germany and Sweden.

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Date created: 7/20/2001
Last updated: 7/20/2001
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