The Joint Committee for Traceability in Laboratory Medicine (JCTLM)

The JCTLM is an international consortium that promotes the global standardization of clinical laboratory test results and provides information on reference materials, reference measurement procedures, and services that are available from around the world.

The JCTLM was established in 2002 through a declaration of cooperation between the International Bureau of Weights and Measures (BIPM), the International Federation of Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine (IFCC), and the International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC) in response to the implementation of the European Community Directive 98.79/EC on in vitro medical devices. Since its founding, the role of the JCTLM has expanded to become a global resource for implementing metrological traceability in laboratory medicine.

The aim of JCTLM is to support worldwide equivalence and comparability of measurement results in laboratory medicine, for the purpose of improving health care, and facilitating national and international trade in in-vitro diagnostic (IVD) medical devices, by:

  • promoting the concept of traceability of measurement results to the Système International d'Unités (SI) or, where necessary, to other internationally agreed references;
  • evaluating reference materials, reference measurement procedures and reference measurement services for laboratory medicine for conformity with appropriate international standards;
  • producing educational materials and activities promoting the value of traceability in laboratory medicine and raising awareness amongst stakeholders;
  • promoting close links between Reference Laboratories in Laboratory Medicine and National Metrology Institutes;
  • acilitating the identification and prioritization of measurands requiring international traceability and equivalence, and thereby encouraging appropriate organizations to accept responsibility for the development of suitable reference measurement procedures and certified reference materials;
  • encouraging the IVD industry to apply the agreed reference measurement systems;
  • encouraging External Quality Assessment (EQA) organizers to apply reference measurement procedure values to commutable EQA materials.

The main output of the JCTLM is the global database of higher order reference materials; reference measurement methods/procedures; and reference measurement services. All references listed in the database are reviewed for conformance to applicable ISO standards. This database is freely available. Full details of the JCTLM database, including content and operation, may be found at the JCTLM database.

The JCTLM also provides educational material on metrological traceability that is freely available to any interested party, available here.