Resolution 11 of the 22nd CGPM (2003)

Relationship between National Metrology Institutes and nationally recognized accreditation bodies

The 22nd General Conference,


  • the key role played by National Metrology Institutes (NMIs) at the origin of accreditation of calibration and, in some countries, also of testing laboratories to meet the increasing demand for the calibration of measuring standards and instruments traceable to the International System of Units (SI),
  • the essential character of a close technical cooperation between the staff of NMIs and nationally recognized accreditation bodies (NABs),
  • the overriding importance to the paying customer of technical competence in the accreditation process of calibration and testing laboratories,
  • recent tendencies towards the requirement for complete separation between NMI and NAB activities in the name of impartiality, independence and integrity of the latter,
  • the evident danger that such a complete separation may have for the technical competence of NABs and, in consequence, for accredited calibration and testing laboratories,
  • that the specification and implementation of national practices related to the national measurement and the national accreditation systems are ultimately the responsibility of national Governments,
  • that the relationship between the NMI and nationally recognized accreditation body or bodies varies from country to country; the body or bodies may be part of the NMI, be operated by the NMI or may be completely separated from it,

emphasizing the importance of equitable and harmonized practices in respect of both large and small metrology and accreditation systems in all regions of the world,

recognizing the importance of worldwide harmonization of such practices,

welcomes the recent CIPM-ILAC Memorandum of Understanding between the International Committee for Weights and Measures and the International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation, (ILAC),

calls upon all accreditation organizations to recognize that NMIs and accredited calibration laboratories together provide an indispensable route to traceability to the SI and hence to reliability in measurements and worldwide comparability of measurement results for the whole economy and society and that they should work closely together,

recommends that

  • Member Governments of the Metre Convention ensure that an appropriate relationship exists between NMIs and NABs,
  • this relationship fosters collaboration on matters concerning traceability of measurement results and ensures effective and complementary actions under the CIPM MRA and the ILAC arrangement,

and notes that calibration is not a conformity assessment activity.

DOI : 10.59161/CGPM2003RES11E

The reader should note that the official version of this Resolution is the French text

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