The ASEAN Reference Material Network (ARMN) was established on 15 July 2016 with initiatives from Health Sciences Authority (HSA), Singapore,National Institute of Metrology (Thailand) (NIMT) and Department of Chemistry Malaysia (KIMIA) with the support from National Metrology Institute of Malaysia (NMIM). Currently, seven institutes from ASEAN countries have become members of this network.
The main objectives of ARMN are to strengthen the measurement capabilities of ASEAN NMIs/DIs in the production of ARMs and to promote the use of Certified Reference Materials (CRMs) and Reference Materials (RMs) from the region. The network is also formed to allow sharing of CRMs/RMs development plans, knowledge and facilities. CRMs/RMs produced through collaborative efforts of more than one network member will be branded as ASEAN Reference Materials (ARMs).The end users, e.g. reference laboratories, testing laboratories, research institutes and device manufacturers in the ASEAN region would also benefit from the lower cost and accessibility of these CRMs/RMs.
As part of the network’s efforts to improve measurement capabilities and reliability of the results produced by testing laboratories within this region, ARMN member institutes also strive co-organise relevant accuracy-based proficiency testing (PT) programmes. These programmes may run in parallel with CRM/RM productions. ARMN’s accuracy-based PT programmes will offer more benefits to the participating laboratories as compared to commercial consensus-based PT programmes by providing metrologically-traceable assigned values that comes with their associated measurement uncertainties. As compared to PT programmes offered by overseas PT providers, ARMN’s PT programmes will provide learning opportunities for the participating laboratories through local engagement sessions, such as PT forum discussions or symposiums.