The unique role of the BIPM is based on its international and impartial character enabling it:
- To coordinate the realization and improvement of the world-wide
measurement system to ensure it delivers accurate and comparable
- To undertake selected scientific and technical activities that are more efficiently carried out in its own laboratories on behalf of Member States.
- To promote the importance of metrology to science, industry and society, in particular through collaboration with other intergovernmental organizations and international bodies and in international forums.
The unique role of the BIPM enables it to achieve its mission by developing the technical and organizational infrastructure of the International System of Units (SI) as the basis for the world-wide traceability of measurement results. This is achieved both through technical activities in its laboratories and through international coordination.
- To establish and maintain appropriate reference standards for use as the basis of a limited number of key international comparisons at the highest level.
- To coordinate international comparisons of national measurement standards through the Consultative Committees of the CIPM; taking the role of coordinating laboratory for selected comparisons of the highest priority and undertaking the scientific work necessary to enable this to be done.
- To provide selected calibrations for Member States.
- To coordinate activities between the NMIs, such as through the CIPM MRA1, and to provide technical services to support them.
- To liaise as required with relevant intergovernmental organizations2 and other international bodies3 both directly and through joint committees4.
- To organize scientific meetings to identify future developments in the world-wide measurement system required to meet existing and future measurement needs in industry, science and society.
- To inform, through publications and meetings, the science community, the wider scientific public and decision makers on matters related to metrology and its benefits.
- The CIPM Mutual Recognition Arrangement (CIPM MRA) is coordinated jointly by the BIPM and the Regional Metrology Organizations.
- Examples of intergovernmental organizations in
liaison with the BIPM are: OIML, IAEA, WMO and WHO.
- Examples of other international bodies in liaison with the BIPM are: ILAC and ISO.
- Examples of joint committees are the Joint Committee on Guides on Metrology (JCGM) and the Joint Committee on Traceability in Laboratory Medicine (JCTLM).