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Validation Framework

Common scheme for validation of measurement methods

NORMAN has developed a common framework (Work Package leader - NORMAN project - David SCHWESIG) for the validation of both chemical and biological methods for the respective monitoring and bio-monitoring of emerging pollutants (occurrence and effects) in a broad range of matrices. This framework addresses three different validation approaches, in increasing order of complexity:

  1. within-laboratory validation (research level)
  2. basic external validation (transferability at expert level)
  3. inter-laboratory validation (routine level).

The protocol has been tested in the three interlaboratory studies organised by NORMAN during the course of the NORMAN (EU-funded) project.

Moreover, a protocol for the integration of biological and chemical test methods has been developed  in a broader context, for which no standardised guidelines are available.

For the identification of emerging pollutants through Effect Directed Analysis or EDA - indicating the integrated use of chemical and biological techniques, this protocol provides the reader with a set of recommendations for the various aspects of EDA studies.

Why do we need a common validation framework?

Comparability and reliability of monitoring data are essential for any meaningful assessment and for the management of environmental risks. For emerging pollutants, there is concern regarding the comparability of data at the European level. Methods used for the monitoring of emerging pollutants have often not been properly validated either in-house (i.e. within a single laboratory) or at the international level. Such methods are often not well established in the scientific community, and are therefore far from being harmonised or standardised. In addition, those methods developed by different institutions and organisations may only be applicable to specific conditions (matrix, organism), which may further complicate data comparability.

Implementation in European standardisation 

The NORMAN protocols for method validation have been the basis for a CEN Technical Specification that has been approved at CEN level (CEN TC 230 - Water Quality) for implementation in European Standardisation and it is now published as CEN Technical Specification:

CEN TS 16800 "Guideline for the validation of physico-chemical analytical methods."

At present this CEN TS applies to the water compartment only. The extension of its scope will be handled under the umbrella of the new transversal CEN/TC444 "Environmental characterization".



For further information you can contact Ralph DOMINIK (DIN, Germany) or Marie-Pierre STRUB (INERIS, France).