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5437: Advanced Mass Seminar

The 9 day, hands-on mass calibration seminar focuses on the comprehension and application of the advanced mass dissemination procedures, the equations, and associated calculations. It includes the operation of the laboratory equipment, review of documentary references, reference standards, specifications, and tolerances relevant to the measurements. Training covers mass calibration documentation published in NISTIR 6969, NISTIR 5672, NIST Technical Note 952, and NIST/SEMATECH e-Handbook of Statistical Methods,, date. for the calibration of precision mass standards to OIML R111 and ASTM E617 weight classes. This seminar incorporates approximately 50 percent lectures with topic-related discussion and 50 percent laboratory work in which the participant performs measurements by selecting and applying correct procedures, equations, and calculations discussed in the classroom. The participant will evaluate measurement assurance and uncertainty data, complete data analysis using software, and produce a certificate of calibration compliant with ISO/IEC 17025 requirements.

Learning Objectives:

At the end of the Advanced Mass Seminar the participant will:

  • USE critical thinking skills to analyze: measurement requirements and measurement results for traceability, measurement assurance, uncertainty, compliance to related specifications, and reporting of calibration results – both before and during the seminar.
  • IMPLEMENT NISTIR 5672 and appropriate supporting documentation in the seminar exercises and later in your laboratory, and to PERFORM advance mass weighing designs, with supporting evidence of metrological traceability, measurement assurance and uncertainties.
  • CREATE a data set using advanced weighing designs and GENERATE an ISO/IEC 17025 compliant calibration certificate using the data output from the NIST Mass Code or alternative software.

Materials & Supplies:

Notebooks and reference materials will be provided in the course and include a complete set of Reference Publications and software that will be used in the course.


Participants must have successfully completed the newly redesigned (2 week) Mass Course or the older Mass Seminar AND Intermediate Seminar. State laboratory participants must have successfully completed all required Laboratory Auditing Program problems. All participants should have evidence of successfully completing mass proficiency testing (at a level higher than Class F, or OIML M, or ASTM 4, 5, 6, or 7 class weights).


Confirmation letters will not be issued until it has been determined that the class has sufficient students AND the proposed participant has successfully completed the course pre-work.

Complete a laboratory internal audit, assessing your laboratory compliance to ISO/IEC 17025 (and NIST Handbook 143) for each of the following topics, related to advanced mass and use of weighing designs, and provide tables/data as requested in this list:

  • Staff Training (5.2): Describe the staff training, education/experience related to mass calibrations;
  • Facility, (5.3): Describe the environmental controls in the laboratory that will enable compliance to Echelon I limits as described in Handbook 143 or SOP 5/28, also describe the area where standards (internal and incoming) will be stored;
  • Procedures (5.4): Describe the mass procedures in current use in the laboratory;
  • Uncertainty (5.4.6): Provide a summary of mass calibration uncertainties for the laboratory that include a description of each component that is currently incorporated;
  • Equipment (5.5): Provide an inventory of the balances that will be used to perform advanced weighing designs and include the current standard deviation of the measurement process that designate the procedures currently in use;
  • Standards and Traceability (5.6): Provide a current and proposed traceability hierarchy/inventory of standards and their calibration dates, and describe if changes are in process;
  • Care and Handling of Standards and Items Submitted for Calibration (5.8): Describe the process by which standards are accepted for calibration as well as current practices for cleaning, stabilization, and equilibration;
  • Measurement Assurance (5.9): Describe the current control charts and assessments that are in place in the laboratory for mass measurements and describe the proficiency tests that you have completed for precision mass calibrations;
  • Calibration Certificates (5.10): If your laboratory has already been working at this level, assess the calibration certificates issued for calibrations done at this level against the criteria in section 5.10 of 17025 (or Handbook 143); and
  • Provide a high level overview of the laboratory goals upon completion of this course.

Note: some of the tables and analysis may be combined in a spreadsheet, as long as suitable identification, document control, and references are made in the summary write-up. This material will be reviewed and used during the seminar to identify proposed action items in each participant's laboratory.

Pre-Work Deadline:

The pre-work must be completed and submitted to Val Miller (val.miller [at] (val[dot]miller[at]nist[dot]gov) or fax to 301-975-8091) by July 15, 2017. You may use either the Word version or PDF form that are available.

Minimum Requirement(s):

To receive a Training Certificate for this course, successful completion requires participants to submit course Pre-work, actively participate in the entire course (e.g., take notes, engage in discussions, ask questions), complete all classroom, homework, and application exercise assignments, and submit calibration certificates as evidence of completion of all application exercises conducted during the hands-on portion of class exercises (guidance is provided in the course) and submit an Action Plan that can be used to implement or refine the advanced mass measurement processes in the participant's laboratory.


Metrologists with responsibilities for precision mass calibrations.


The current fee for this seminar is $4,500. Registration fees for State weights and measures regulatory officials and metrologists are funded by NIST OWM.


Georgia Harris, Val Miller, Hung-Kung Liu, Stephan Schlamminger, Patrick Abbott, and Mark Ruefenacht
Phone: (301) 975 - 3602
E-mail: val.miller [at] (val[dot]miller[at]nist[dot]gov)

Technology Requirement(s):

Participant must bring a laptop with Microsoft Excel and Word software for analysis of data, hands-on case studies, and preparation of calibration certificates and be familiar with the use of these programs. Participant must be able to use a USB memory stick for transferring files that will be printed/reviewed during the course. Specific instructions will be provided to the student in the confirmation letter regarding additional laptop/tablet requirements. A scientific calculator may be useful, but is not required.


NIST Office of Weights and Measures

You will need a government-issued photo ID (e.g., passport or driver's license) when you check into the Visitors Center at the entrance of NIST on Monday morning. If you will be driving, please bring your Vehicle Registration card also.
PLEASE NOTE: Effective July 21, 2014, under the REAL ID Act of 2005, agencies, including NIST, can only accept a state-issued driver's license or identification card for access to federal facilities if issued by states that are REAL ID compliant or have an extension. NIST currently accepts other forms of federally issued identification in lieu of a state-issued driver's license, such as a valid passport, passport card, DOD's Common Access Card (CAC), Veterans ID, Federal Agency HSPD-12 IDs, Military Dependents ID, Transportation Workers Identification Credential (TWIC), and TSA Trusted Traveler ID. See Visitor Information for the latest information.

Visitor Information:

Gaithersburg, MD - Campus visitor information.

Created August 26, 2016, Updated June 2, 2021