Our Work

Metrology in Chemistry

Background

Metrology is the science of measurement and its application. As one of the stream of metrology, metrology in Chemistry focuses on the study of comparability and traceability of chemical measurements to ensure the reliability of results. This is essential in establishing global mutual recognition of analytical results thereby to provide a technical foundation for wider agreements related to international trade, commerce and regulatory issues. Comparability and metrological traceability are normally established through participation in inter-comparisons organized by regional/international metrology organizations like the International Bureau of Weights and Measures (BIPM) and Asia Pacific Metrology Programme (APMP), and the use of certified reference materials.

Since May 2005, the Government Laboratory (GL) has been included as a Designated Institute, in the field of metrology in chemistry for Hong Kong, China, under the Mutual Recognition Arrangement of the International Committee for Weights and Measures (CIPM MRA). Normally, National Metrology Institute (NMI) is institute designated by the national governmental or other official authority of the Member State of the Metre Convention as being responsible for national measurement standards whereas Designated Institutes (DIs) are specialist institutes appointed by government, an appropriate authority, or in some cases the NMI itself when it is authorized to do so, to deal with metrological responsibilities for certain national standards and associated services that are not covered by the activities of the NMI. Currently, the CIPM MRA has been signed by the representatives of 106 NMIs and covers a further 153 DIs. Before that, GL became a full member of the APMP in November 2004. Besides, GL is also the founding member of the Co-operation on International Traceability in Analytical Chemistry (CITAC). To fulfill its commitments as a Designated Institute, GL has been an accredited proficiency testing scheme provider since August 2006 and an accredited reference materials producer since December 2010. Over the years, GL has actively participated in meetings, workshops and symposiums organized by Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), APMP, BIPM, CITAC and other international and regional organizations. Through these regional and international activities and collaboration, GL continues contributing to the development and prosperity of Hong Kong and to the international efforts in building a firm and harmonized scientific measurement infrastructure for international trade, commerce and regulatory affairs.

CMCs claim

With support of the results obtained from key comparisons organized by international metrology organizations, National metrology institutes or designated institutes are eligible to apply a Calibration and Measurement Capabilities (CMCs) claim which is to be included in the Key Comparison Database (KCDB) under the Mutual Recognition Arrangement of the International Committee for Weights and Measures (CIPM MRA). https://www.bipm.org/kcdb/

CMCs are internationally recognized as the best measurement capability that a metrology institute could possess. With the CMCs claim, the institute can disseminate traceability to its customers through services such as
1. provision of calibrations or reference value
2. provision of certified reference materials (CRMs)

The CMCs claim obtained by the Government Laboratory: Click here to open the PDF document

Reference Materials Production

GL is Hong Kong, China's Designated Institute for metrology in chemistry under the CIPM MRA and has the responsibility of disseminating traceability of chemical measurements to local laboratories. Provision of certified reference materials with property values traceable to stated references is a means of disseminating traceability, and testing laboratories could validate their analytical methods and establish the traceability of their measurements through the use of appropriate reference materials.

In December 2010, GL was accredited as a reference material producer in accordance with the international standard ISO Guide 34:2009. The scope of accreditation has been extended to cover pure substance reference materials in November 2011. Over the years, GL commissioned the production of several reference materials such as reference materials for trace elements in herb and seafood, pesticides in tea, melamine in milk and high purity melamine reference material. At the time of production, reference materials of similar nature are not available but are in need by the local testing community. Therefore the reference materials produced are of use to the local laboratories and the wider testing community with relevant operation. In January 2019, GL has successfully transited to the latest standard ISO 17034:2016 for production of reference material.

Certificate of Accreditation (Reference Material Producer)

Certificate of Accreditation
(Reference Material Producer)
(Click to magnify)

Reference materials produced by GL will normally be issued free of charge under the following conditions:

  1. to support the testing laboratories in Hong Kong in seeking accreditation;
  2. to support the outsourcing activities of the GL;
  3. to honour the commitments of GL as a Designated Institute under the CIPM MRA; and
  4. other conditions at the discretion of the Government Chemist.

If you have any enquires about the reference materials produced by GL, please contact us.

International Collaboration

As a member of the international metrology community, GL keeps close contact with other national metrology institutes through regular participation in related meetings and technical exchange. Besides, GL continues to collaborate with the local and mainland inspection authorities and overseas testing and metrology institutes to promote the chemical metrology in the region. Recent collaboration programmes are summarized in the attached table.

International Symposium on Food and Health — from Measurement Science to Quality and Safety 2011

International Symposium on Food and Health — from Measurement Science to Quality and Safety 2011

International Symposium on Challenges in Food Safety and Biopharmaceutical Testing 2012

International Symposium on Challenges in Food Safety and Biopharmaceutical Testing 2012

CCQM Bioanalysis Working Group Meeting 2012

CCQM Bioanalysis Working Group Meeting 2012

CCQM Organic Analysis Working Group Meeting 2012

CCQM Organic Analysis Working Group Meeting 2012

Government Laboratory Centenary Conference 2013

Government Laboratory Centenary Conference 2013

Government Laboratory Centenary Conference 2013

Government Laboratory Centenary Conference 2013

Metrology Around Us Metrology Symposium 2021

Metrology Around Us Metrology Symposium 2021

Date Event Collaborators
Feb 2019 – CCQM key comparison and pilot study in parallel on Elements and tributyltin in seawater (CCQM-K155, CCQM-P196)
  1. Consultative Committee on Amount of Substances (CCQM)
  2. National Metrology Institute of Turkey, Tübitak (UME)
July 2021 – APMP supplementary comparison on Toxic Elements in Seafood (APMP.QM-S19/P40) Asia Pacific Metrology Programme (APMP)
December 2021 – CCQM pilot study on Arsenic Speciation in Seafood (CCQM-P215) Consultative Committee on Amount of Substances (CCQM)
April 2022 – SIM supplementary comparison and APMP pilot study on Trace Elements in Natural Water (SIM.QM-S12, APMP.QM-P41)
  1. Inter-American Metrology System (SIM)
  2. Asia Pacific Metrology Programme (APMP)

Completion Date Event Collaborators
Feb 2019 – Jul 2020 APMP-APLAC proficiency testing programme on toxic metal/metalloid species in powdered rice (APLAC T110)
  1. Asia Pacific Metrology Programme (APMP)
  2. Asia Pacific Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (APLAC) Note 1
Note 1: The Asia Pacific Accreditation Cooperation (APAC) was established on 1 January 2019 by the amalgamation of two former regional accreditation cooperations — the Asia Pacific Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (APLAC) and the Pacific Accreditation Cooperation (PAC)
Jan 2020 Metrology Symposium 2020
  1. Hong Kong Council for Testing and Certification
  2. Standards and Calibration Laboratory of Innovation and Technology Commission
  3. The Open University of Hong Kong
Aug 2019 APMP supplementary comparison and pilot study in parallel with joint APMP-APLAC proficiency testing programme on pesticides in ginseng root (APMP.QM-S11, APMP.QM-P32, APLAC T106)
  1. Asia Pacific Metrology Programme (APMP)
  2. Asia Pacific Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (APLAC)
Mar 2019 Metrology Workshop on Measurement Uncertainty Standards and Calibration Laboratory of Innovation and Technology Commission
Feb 2019 APMP supplementary comparison and pilot study in parallel with joint APMP-APLAC proficiency testing programme on elements in food supplement (APMP.QM-S10, APMP.QM-P31 , APLAC T107)
  1. Asia Pacific Metrology Programme (APMP)
  2. Asia Pacific Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (APLAC)
Jan 2019 Metrology Symposium 2019
  1. Hong Kong Council for Testing and Certification
  2. Standards and Calibration Laboratory of Innovation and Technology Commission
  3. The Open University of Hong Kong
Jul 2018 Seminar on the World Metrology Day (WMD), World Accreditation Day (WAD) and World Standards Day (WSD) 2018
  1. Hong Kong Council for Testing and Certification
  2. Standards and Calibration Laboratory of Innovation and Technology Commission
  3. Hong Kong Accreditation Service
  4. Product Standards Information Bureau of Innovation and Technology Commission
  5. Invited speakers from international organizations and bodies
Jul 2018 2018 Asia Pacific Metrology Programme (APMP) Mid-Year Meeting and Metrology-Enabling Developing Economies in the Asia-Pacific (MEDEA) Workshop Standards and Calibration Laboratory of Innovation and Technology Commission
Oct 2017 Metrology Symposium 2017
  1. Hong Kong Council for Testing and Certification
  2. Standards and Calibration Laboratory of Innovation and Technology Commission
  3. The Open University of Hong Kong
Aug 2017 Youth Forum on Peace, Science and Technology, Innovation for a Better Future — Chemical Measurement and Quality of Life HK20
Jun 2017 Seminar on the World Metrology Day (WMD), World Accreditation Day (WAD) and World Standards Day (WSD) 2017
  1. Hong Kong Council for Testing and Certification
  2. Standards and Calibration Laboratory of Innovation and Technology Commission
  3. Hong Kong Accreditation Service
  4. Product Standards Information Bureau of Innovation and Technology Commission
  5. Invited speakers from international organizations and bodies
Jun 2017 Seminar on International Metrology and Testing Services Standards and Calibration Laboratory of Innovation and Technology Commission
Apr 2017 CCQM key comparison and pilot study in parallel on elements in infant formula (CCQM-K125, CCQM-P159) Consultative Committee on Amount of Substances (CCQM)
Mar 2017 CCQM key comparison and pilot study in parallel on carbamazepine in surface water (CCQM-K126, CCQM-P161) Consultative Committee on Amount of Substances (CCQM)
Mar 2017 CCQM key comparison and pilot study in parallel on trace elements and chromium speciation in drinking water (CCQM-K124, CCQM-P158)
  1. Consultative Committee on Amount of Substances (CCQM)
  2. National Metrology Institute of Japan
Mar 2017 CCQM key comparison and pilot study in parallel on melamine in milk (CCQM-K103, CCQM-P145)
  1. Consultative Committee on Amount of Substances (CCQM)
  2. National Institute of Metrology, People's Republic China
Jul 2016 APMP-APLAC joint proficiency testing programme on determination of elements (calcium and cadmium) in drinking water (APLAC T095)
  1. Asia Pacific Metrology Programme (APMP)
  2. Asia Pacific Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (APLAC)
  3. National Metrology Institute of Japan
Jun 2016 Seminar on the World Metrology Day (WMD), World Accreditation Day(WAD) and World Standards Day (WSD) 2016
  1. Hong Kong Council for Testing and Certification
  2. Standards and Calibration Laboratory of Innovation and Technology Commission
  3. Hong Kong Accreditation Service
  4. Product Standards Information Bureau of Innovation and Technology Commission
  5. Invited speakers from international organizations and bodies
Jun 2016 Seminar on International Metrology and Testing Services Standards and Calibration Laboratory of Innovation and Technology Commission
Aug 2015 APMP supplementary comparison and pilot study in parallel on clenbuterol in porcine meat (APMP.QM-S6, APMP.QM-P22) Asia Pacific Metrology Programme (APMP)
May 2015 Seminar on the World Metrology Day (WMD), World Accreditation Day(WAD) and World Standards Day (WSD) 2015 in Hong Kong
  1. Hong Kong Council for Testing and Certification
  2. Standards and Calibration Laboratory of Innovation and Technology Commission
  3. Hong Kong Accreditation Service
  4. Product Standards Information Bureau of Innovation and Technology Commission
  5. Invited speakers from international organizations and bodies
May 2015 Seminar on International Metrology and Testing Services Standards and Calibration Laboratory of Innovation and Technology Commission
Oct 2014 CCQM key comparison and pilot study in parallel on organochlorine pesticides in green tea (CCQM-K95, CCQM-P136)
  1. Consultative Committee on Amount of Substances (CCQM)
  2. Asia Pacific Metrology Programme (APMP)
  3. National Institute of Metrology, People’s Republic of China
Oct 2014 APMP pilot study on ephedrine and pseudoephedrine in Herba Ephedrae (APMP.QM-P27) Asia Pacific Metrology Programme (APMP)
May 2014 Seminar Celebrating the WMD, the WAD and the WSD in Hong Kong
  1. Hong Kong Council for Testing and Certification
  2. Standards and Calibration Laboratory
  3. Hong Kong Accreditation Service
  4. Product Standards Information Bureau of Innovation and Technology Commission
  5. Invited speakers from international organizations and bodies
Oct 2013 APLAC proficiency testing programmes on organochlorine pesticides in green tea (APLAC T081) Asia Pacific Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (APLAC)
Sep 2013 APMP DEC proficiency testing programme on organochlorine pesticides in green tea (APMP PT 11-02) Asia Pacific Metrology Programme (APMP)
Nov 2013
*Jun 2012
APMP Supplementary comparison in parallel with proficiency testing programmes for APEC, APLAC and APMP DEC on essential and trace elements in seafood (APMP.QM-S5, APMP PT 11-01, APLAC T082, *APEC PT)
  1. Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC)
  2. Asia Pacific Metrology Programme (APMP)
  3. Asia Pacific Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (APLAC)
Jan 2013 CCQM key comparison and pilot study in parallel with an APMP pilot study on trace and essential elements in herb (CCQM-K89, CCQM-P126, APMP.QM-P18)
  1. Consultative Committee on Amount of Substances (CCQM)
  2. Asia Pacific Metrology Programme (APMP)
9 Nov 2012 Joint BAWG/OAWG Technical Workshop CCQM Organic Analysis Working Group (OAWG) and Bioanalysis Working Meeting (BAWG)
8 Nov 2012 International Symposium 2012 on Challenges in Food Safety and Biopharmaceutical Testing Invited speakers from overseas metrology institutes and international organizations
6-7 Nov 2012 CCQM Organic Analysis and Bio-analysis Working Groups Meetings CCQM Organic Analysis Working Group (OAWG) and Bioanalysis Working Group (BAWG)
10 Nov 2011 International Symposium on Food and Health — from Measurement Science to Quality and Safety -
Nov 2010 Seminar on Metrology in Chemistry 2010 Invited speakers from international / regional metrology organizations and bodies
Dec 2009 APMP pilot study on pesticides in tea (APMP.QM-P15)
  1. National Institute of Metrology, PR China
  2. National Metrology Institute Australia
Nov 2008 AOAC Multi-laboratory validation programme on determination of Aconitum alkaloids in dietary supplements and raw herbs 12 laboratories from the UK, United States, Korea, Mainland China, Hong Kong
Nov 2007 International Symposium on Food Chemistry Analysis and Related Quality Assurance Techniques
  1. Guangdong Entry-Exit Inspection & Quarantine Bureau
  2. Liaoning Entry-Exit Inspection & Quarantine Bureau
Jun 2007 International Symposium on Metrology in Chemistry with focus on Food Safety, Medical Testing and Consumer Protection

Invited speakers from overseas and Mainland metrology organizations and the local accreditation body