Mathematics and statistics are required across many metrology applications and support is needed to ensure that the interdisciplinary challenges posed in emerging fields and applications – such as medical imaging and environmental monitoring – are addressed.
Quality Assurance Tools
The quality of software and data can have a huge impact on the quality and applicability of measurement and calibration results. In order to provide support in this area, EMN Mathmet, with the support of the JNP, has developed a set of Quality Assurance Tools (QAT), following the approach of documentary standards ISO 9001 and ISO 8000, with the tools made available through the EMN’s website. These tools ensure that software, data and guidelines are fit for purpose, and include resources for risk assessment, quality management and data management.
The QAT have recently seen interest from a UK medical imaging company. The company was introduced to the QAT by EMN member NPL, the UK National Metrology Institute (NMI), with whom they have been working to develop an approach for analysing calibration data. The approach is to be implemented as software and incorporated within a commercially available measuring system.
The QAT was introduced to help guide the company’s software development and data handling processes and to help demonstrate the quality of the software to customers and regulators. Several representatives from the company attended a webinar about the QAT hosted by NPL and VSL, the NMI for the Netherlands, and in the coming weeks the webinar will become available as an on-line training course on the BIPM’s e-Learning platform. Additionally, recognising the potential role of the QAT, Eurolab advertised the webinar on their website, which helped boost the number of registrations for the event as well as its reach to potential users.
The EMN is currently promoting the QAT to quality teams at NMIs, EURAMET Joint Research Projects (JRPs) related to EMN Mathmet, and a general audience to spread the benefits of the tools as widely as possible. As a consequence, a number of the JRPs have agreed to use the QAT as part of their software development processes and in the way they manage their data.
Increased uptake of the QAT will improve harmonisation for quality assessment between NMIs and will ensure that software, data and guidelines used across metrology are able to provide high-quality calibrations and measurement results.
EMN Mathmet Chair Francesca Pennecchi (INRiM) said about the QAT:
“Even in draft version, the QAT have already had impact on EMN Mathmet members and will support JRPs to produce quality-assured research results and facilitate commercial collaboration between NMIs and companies. When approved by EURAMET, the QAT together with the EMN’s Strategic Research Agenda will constitute reference documents for the whole metrology community and act as important “business cards” to help interactions with high-level stakeholders. Further updates to the QAT are already under consideration within the EMN. Recently, a document has been added indicating how the QAT can be used to meet the requirements of standards such as ISO/IEC 17025, ISO 17034 and ISO/IEC 17043. This effort strengthens the relevance of the QAT for a wide range of calibration and testing laboratories.”
The Quality Assurance Tools for data, software and guidelines has been provided by the Members and Partners of the European Metrology Network for Mathematics and Statistics (Mathmet). EURAMET has no influence on its correctness and completeness and does not assume any liability for it.
The European Metrology Network for Mathematics and Statistics is supported by the Joint Network Project ‘Support for a European Metrology Network for mathematics and statistics’ (18NET05).
This EMPIR project is co-funded by the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme and the EMPIR Participating States.