Our mission is to promote a common and reliable European measurement system in support of EU policies. Our prime objective is to build confidence in the comparability of measurements by the production and dissemination of internationally accepted quality assurance tools, including validated methods, reference materials, reference measurements, interlaboratory comparisons and training.
Located in Geel, Belgium, the Directorate F - Health, Consumers and Reference Materials is one of the Directorates of the European Commission’s Directorate General Joint Research Centre (JRC). The Directorate acquired this name after a re-organisation of the JRC in July 2016 and continues the work of the JRC Institute for Reference Materials and Measurements (IRMM), which in turn took over the work of the Community Bureay of Nuclear Measurements (CBNM) in 1995.
As the science and knowledge service of the Commission, the mission of DG Joint Research Centre is to support EU policies with independent evidence throughout the whole policy cycle.
The JRC is the second largest producer of matrix certified reference materials (CRM) worldwide and is the market leader in provision of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) reference materials. It is also an expert adviser in measurements related to food safety, quality and biotechnology, as well as a valued provider of reference measurement data.
The directorate currently employs over 250 staff working in multidisciplinary areas such as: aviation security, health diagnostics, food and feed safety and quality, advanced materials, nuclear safeguards, nuclear safety and security. The JRC also operates several European Union Reference Laboratories in the area of food safety control.
Quality assurance tools
Accuracy and reliability are at the heart of the JRC. Accurate and reliable measurement results enhance our quality of life, supporting industrial competitiveness, delivering better healthcare, safer food and a cleaner environment. Moreover, the competitiveness of the European economy and the smooth functioning of international trade depend considerably on reliable measurements, which eliminate the need to duplicate or dispute testing data.
A recognised provider of quality assurance tools such as certified reference materials, validated analytical methods, proficiency testing and guidelines, the JRC helps to improve the measurement capabilities of laboratories not only in EU Member States but also worldwide.
The JRC is committed to delivering quality assurance tools to laboratories worldwide. It is the first European reference material producer having obtained accreditation according to ISO Guide 34 and it is accredited by the Belgian Accreditation Body (BELAC) for measurement benchmarks according to ISO guidelines.
Our staff also contributes actively to the work of standardisation bodies, amongst those the European Committee for Standardisation (CEN) and the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). Many testing methods validated by JRC-IRMM together with its collaborators have been approved as standards of CEN and ISO.
The JRC’s work in the field of metrology and standardisation is widely recognised. For instance, various technical committees of ISO use expert advice of JRC on reference materials for their specific application fields.
Experts participate actively in the work of the Association of Official Analytical Chemists (AOAC International), the Versailles Project on Advanced Materials and Standards (VAMAS), the International Federation of Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine (IFCC), the Codex Alimentarius, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the European Organization for Nuclear Research, the International Committee for Weights and Measures (CIPM) and the Association of European Metrology institutes (EURAMET).