– the intergovernmental organization through which Member States act together
     on matters related to measurement science and measurement standards.
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Approval process

The outcomes of the CIPM MRA are the internationally recognized (peer-reviewed and approved) Calibration and Measurement Capabilities (CMCs) of the participating institutes. Approved CMCs are publicly available in the CIPM MRA database (JCDB).

The three fundamental elements leading to approval of an institute's CMCs are:

  1. participation by the institute in reviewed and approved scientific comparisons;

  2. operation by the institute of an appropriate and approved quality management system;

  3. international peer-review (regional and inter-regional) of claimed calibration and measurement capabilities.

A generalized overview of the process is given below; for full details please refer to the text of the CIPM MRA .

    The technical basis of the CIPM MRA is the set of results obtained over the course of time through scientific key comparisons carried out by the Consultative Committees of the CIPM, the BIPM and the regional metrology organizations (RMOs), and published by the BIPM and maintained in the KCDB.

    The key comparisons are essentially of two types:

    • CIPM key comparisons, of international scope, are carried out by those participants having the highest level of skills in the measurement involved, and are restricted to laboratories of Member States. The CIPM key comparisons deliver "the reference value" for the chosen key quantity;

    • RMO key comparisons, of regional scope, are organized at the scale of a region (though they may include additional participants from other regions) and are open to laboratories of Associates as well as Member States. These key comparisons deliver complementary information without changing the reference value.

    The comparisons underpin the development of the Calibration and Measurement Capabilities (CMCs) which are stated in terms of a measurand and its uncertainty, and may include advice about the instrumentation used.

    The participating institutes are required to operate an appropriate quality management system which is subject to an approval process run by the relevant regional metrology organization.

    The accepted standards are ISO/IEC 17025 and ISO Guide 34 (for those institutes producing or assigning values to reference materials).

    Claimed calibration and measurement capabilities (CMCs) are developed by the participating institutes and submitted for first-stage review by their regional metrology organization. Once this review process has been completed, the regional metrology organization submits the CMCs to a second-stage inter-regional peer-review process.

    Having successfully completed both peer-review processes the CMCs are published in the KCDB.

Operation of the CIPM MRA

    The JCRB, a Joint Committee of the RMOs and the BIPM, is responsible for the coordination of data provided by the RMOs, and other actions undertaken by them to promote confidence in calibration and measurement certificates. The JCRB operates under the auspices of the CIPM and comprises representatives of the RMOs. The BIPM Director chairs the JCRB, supported by the JCRB Executive Secretary, and the BIPM maintains the CIPM MRA database ().

CIPM MRA docs.
Policy documents
Guidance on CMCs
Guidance on comparisons
Complementary info.
Use of the CIPM MRA logo
See also: JCRB
KCDB leaflet
Approval process
Historical development of the CIPM MRA
Organizational structure of the CIPM MRA
The essential points of the CIPM MRA
Potential economic impact of the CIPM MRA
Reports on the KCDB

Official and explanatory texts