Measurements have always been essential in supporting international trade and regulation. They are required for the underpinning of conformity with written standards, and measurements have also stimulated innovation and advances in technology as well as in human well-being.
Many millions of measurements are made each day. Ideally, all should be traceable to national reference standards so as to ensure international consistency and long-term stability. This was originally the task of national metrology institutes (NMIs), or their historical equivalents. In 1875, the need for international consistency in measurements was recognized and formalized by the Metre Convention.
During the 1960s the NMIs recognized the importance of creating a system through which they might assess and validate the technical competence of other organizations which need to make, and demonstrate traceable measurements. This led to the emergence of the accredited laboratory sector, and to the International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC).
Signed on behalf of Professor Ernst O. Göbel, President of the CIPM, and Mr Daniel Pierre, Chair of ILAC, we have pleasure in drawing your attention to this joint statement on the respective roles and responsibilities of the two communities, metrology laboratories and accreditation bodies.
The document is relevant to national and international bodies which involve, or which rely on, the traceability and world-wide acceptance of measurements for their implementation. It is also relevant to the organizational structures of measurement-related bodies at the national, regional and international levels.
We invite you to note the joint statement and distribute and promote it to your constituencies.
|Andrew J. Wallard
|then Director, BIPM