Message from the President
The date and venue for the next Session has been confirmed – it will take place at the Delray Beach Marriott Hotel in Delray Beach Florida, USA; the date is 24th – 26th September 2008. SPRI have again kindly organised this for us and their own meeting has been arranged at the same venue between 21st – 24th September. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Dr Richard, Mrs Godshall and Xavier Miranda for all their help with this.
Therefore this leaves a little over a year until we next meet and so I urge all the Referees to press on with their studies to ensure we have a successful meeting.
Proficiency Testing Scheme
Clive Shelton and I met with representatives of LGC in London on 23rd July to progress this initiative. The current plan is to launch the scheme in January 2008 starting with colour, turbidity and ash measurements in white sugar, at a monthly frequency. The range of samples and analytes will be developed to extend the scope of the scheme taking into account the requirements of the participants. The scheme will aim to be flexible, allowing members to participate in samples/analytes that are important to them together with a powerful reporting tool which will enable companies to produce group reports for their participants from the whole database.
This will be the only global scheme for the sugar industry and it will be tailored to meet the needs of sugar factories, sugar mills, refineries, sugar users and research organisations. Participation will be essential for those with ISO 17025 accreditation and it will provide performance data for ICUMSA methods and also generate reference materials in the future. The data the scheme will generate will be invaluable to ICUMSA Referees, generating relative performance data for those methods used in the scheme.
Further information about this scheme will start to appear in journals towards the end of the year and we will also ensure that everyone is informed well in advance of the launch. A questionnaire will be sent to prospective participants asking how you wish the scheme to be developed and we will review this response in March ’08. This will allow plenty of time to investigate these ideas prior to our meeting in September.
Strategic Planning Committee
Members of this committee met on 30th March to discuss the range of ideas produced during the Executive Committee meeting in Brazil. These included method status, method numbering, method validation, co-operation with other organisations, widening the membership and the proficiency testing scheme. Draft discussion documents on these ideas will be produced and circulated via national committee chairmen for comment.