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5446: Basic Uncertainty Concepts

This 2 hour webinar provides a very basic introduction to uncertainty calculations and reporting using the 8-step process published in NIST SOP 29 (NISTIR 6969), beginning with some definitions and concepts from the Guide to the Expression of Uncertainty in Measurement (GUM) with simple calculations.
NOTE: The content is similar to what is covered in the Fundamentals of Metrology seminar and is a useful pre-cursor or review for content covered during the course and will include calculations and a short application quiz. The session will end with an optional 30 minute session for Questions and Answers.

Learning Objectives:

At the end of this session, using SOP 29, and course notes, participants will be able to:

  • DEFINE: standard uncertainty, expanded uncertainty, coverage factor, Type A methods, Type B methods;
  •  DESCRIBE the importance of knowing and evaluating measurement uncertainty; ;
  • Be able to: SPECIFY, IDENTIFY, QUANTIFY, CONVERT, COMBINE, EXPAND, EVALUATE, and REPORT uncertainties for a simple scenario;
  • EXPLAIN the concepts of uncertainty and its relationship to metrological traceability;
  • IDENTIFY documentation requirements for uncertainty calculations within a calibration laboratory; and
  • IMPLEMENT an uncertainty budget based on concepts presented in NISTIR 6969, SOP 29 and the Guide to the Expression of Uncertainty in Measurement.

Materials & Supplies:



There are no prerequisites for this webinar. Knowledge of basic mathematics and statistics is expected.


Read NISTIR 6969, SOP 29.

Pre-Work Deadline:

Thursday, February 23, 2017


Submit Student Notes (Highlights, Applications, and Application Quiz).

Post-Work Deadline:

Thursday, March 02, 2017

Minimum Requirement(s):

Successful Completion includes pre-work, full attendance, full participation in the session activities, discussions, calculations and submission of Student Notes with correct answers on the Application Quiz.


Laboratory metrology staff who are new to uncertainty calculations or who would like to review the 8-step process of SOP 29. The session would also be useful for metrology staff who will be conducting on-the-job-training for new staff members.

Successful Completion

Successful Completion includes pre-work, 100 % attendance, participation in the session activities, discussions, calculations and submission of Student Notes with correct answers on the Application Quiz.


The current fee for webinars is $199 and confirmed participants will be provided a web link to make a payment. The due date for payment is February 13, 2017. Registration fees for State weights and measures metrologists are funded by NIST OWM.


Georgia L. Harris
Office of Weights and Measures,
(301) 975 - 4014
Email: g.harris [at] (g[dot]harris[at]nist[dot]gov)

Technology Requirement(s):

Students will need a 10-digit calculator or Excel available (on a separate screen or computer) during the session for hands-on calculations.

The webinar will be a live stream, so participants must have a constant connection during the webinar.

  1. Operating System (browser) configurations:
  • Windows XP (Explorer 8, 9, 10, 11; Mozilla Firefox; Google Chrome)
  • Windows Vista (Internet Explorer or Firefox)
  • Windows 7 or 8 (Mozilla Firefox; Google Chrome)
  • Apple Mac OS 10.5x (Mozilla Firefox; Apple Safari; Google Chrome)
  • Ubuntu Linux (Firefox only)
  • Media players
  • In order to access the event, you must have, at a minimum, Adobe® Flash® Player 11.2+ installed on your computer. Please visit to download the Flash Player.


NIST / Office of Weights and Measures

Created June 7, 2016, Updated July 23, 2020