Calibration and Traceability Myths & Misnomers
Language and understanding and use of correct terminology ease communication and can reduce mistakes and misunderstandings. This is of value to not only those in testing laboratories, but also for its customers and the consumer of cannabis products.
Ensuring measurement traceability is an on-going practice and is critical to valid, repeatable, and defendable measurement data. Measurement traceability ranges from measurement equipment calibration, quality control, and sample tracking and test data reporting. What should be included in recording data to ensure measurement traceability? How can measurement traceability be ensured? To begin, measurements must be recorded. If they are not recorded with adequate detail, then one must assume that the measurement did not happen as there is no evidence to defend that it did happen.
What determines a Pass or Fail in testing or calibration? Pass or fail is based on either qualitative or quantitative data.
- In qualitative measurements, data are approximate, interpreted, characterized, and often expressed in text format. One may be comparing and matching colors, describing odor or bud composition. Qualitative data cannot be counted and therefore are not expressed in numbers.
- In quantitative measurements, data are measured and expressed in a numerical format. One may measure and record sample weight, sample count, sample size, solvent use, etc. Think of quantitative data as something that answers questions such as “how many”, “how much”, and “how often”.
Learning Objective 1: The attendee will learn up-to-date measurement terminology, including “calibration”, “traceability”, certification vs. accreditation.
Learning Objective 2: The attendee will learn what measurement traceability is and means and how to ensure it.
Learning Objective 3: The attendee will learn the differences between qualitative and quantitative data.