Liaison: World Health Organization (WHO)


Formal relationship


Links between the BIPM and the WHO

  • The WHO sponsors the IAEA/WHO SSDL Network to assure radiotherapy dosimetry, particularly in developing countries, and facilitates the measurement of radiotherapy doses in hospitals through the IAEA TLD service, traceable to the BIPM.
  • NIBSC is active in the review teams of the JCTLM and is a Designated Institute, by the UK, under the CIPM MRA.


The WHO is the United Nations' specialized agency for health; its objective is the attainment by all peoples of the highest possible level of health, where health is defined as a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.

The WHO Expert Committee for Biological Standardization (ECBS) establishes international standards for biologicals, which act as primary standards for the measurement of biological activity of therapeutic products and for diagnostics. Biological measurements standards are maintained and distributed by WHO custodian laboratories and 95% of these are maintained by the National Institute of Biological Standards and Control (NIBSC) in the UK. Its Department of Essential Health Technologies supports the use of diagnostic imaging and radiation therapy in the developing countries. The WHO is a partner organization with the IAEA supporting the IAEA/WHO Secondary Standard Dosimetry Laboratories (SSDLs) world-wide. The WHO also supports a world-wide audit programme of radiotherapy dosimetry in hospitals, using the IAEA TLD system that the BIPM supports by irradiating their dosimeters to known doses.

The BIPM and WHO cooperate to raise awareness within WHO of the issues of metrological traceability and measurement uncertainty, ensure appropriate use of SI units in the standardization of biological measurements and promote the development of reference measurements systems for biological measurements.



Dr Robert I. Wielgosz

Chemistry Department

Dr Steven Judge

Ionizing Radiation Department

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