The measurement of cations and anions is of critical importance in almost every industry. Detailed examples of these industries, whilst not exhaustive, are presented in this paper and this list is steadily growing. The level of user expectation in terms of sensitivity of the main methods for measurements is also growing, as is the necessity for versatility and efficiency. Therefore, methodologies such as spectrophotometry, flame photometry, ion selective electrodes and atomic absorption, although all still relevant and important are giving way to ICP-OES and ICP-MS techniques. Basic information on the measurement principle and functionality coupled with detailed information on the features, benefits, advantages and disadvantages of these two instrumental techniques are presented and the descriptions are augmented by some easy to follow graphics and diagrams. Ultimately though, almost all instrumental analytical techniques are comparative and therefore require high quality calibration, verification, tuning and quality control standards. There are several excellent producers of such standards that have offerings in the marketplace but in order to enable the analyst to understand and choose what criteria a high-quality standard must fulfil, the standards available from Reagecon are used as a case study. This case study details the difference between external, internal and tuning standards, and also details the meticulous manufacturing and testing processes necessary to practice these high value-added products. This paper places particular emphasis on the metrology relating to ICP Standards, particularly purity, traceability, measurement uncertainty and certification using the products produced by Reagecon as real life examples. For additional information on extra features, benefits and options, a brief list of references is included. Much more product information can be obtained at

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