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5866 Fundamentals of Metrology

OWM training icon in form of SI wheel
Credit: OWM/K. Dill

Course Description

The 5-day Fundamentals of Metrology seminar is an intensive course that introduces participants to the concepts of measurement systems, units, good laboratory practices, data integrity, measurement uncertainty, measurement assurance, traceability, basic statistics and how they fit into a laboratory Quality Management System. Additional topics covered will include overall Laboratory Management and specific discussions of the requirements for proficiency testing, calibration certificate generation and software verification and validation. Topics will be covered using a variety of measurement disciplines and laboratory measurements and case studies so that the participants will be able to apply the concepts to any measurement discipline upon completion. Topics are covered in a mixture of training styles including lecture, hands-on exercises, case studies and discussion.

This class covers the following procedures from NISTIR 6969:

  • GLP 1, Quality Assurance of the Measurement Process;
  • GLP 9, Rounding Expanded Uncertainties and Calibration Values;
  • GMP 11, Assignment and Adjustment of Calibration Intervals for Laboratory Standards;
  • GMP 13, Ensuring Traceability;
  • SOP 1, Preparation of Calibration Certificates;
  • SOP 29, Assignment of Uncertainty; and
  • SOP 30, Process Measurement Assurance Program.

Learning Objectives

At the end of this seminar, participants will be able to:

  • IDENTIFY and USE reference materials to ensure good quality, accurate, traceable measurement results;
  • EXPLAIN highlights and key concepts of each topic (noted on the Table of Contents and the detailed learning objectives) to each other and to your managers and show how these topics fit in to a management system using ISO/IEC 17025 as the basis;
  • Have and know how to IMPLEMENT several simple tools, job aids, and references to use and improve your laboratory operations.

Materials & Supplies

Several notebooks and course materials will be provided.


The instructor will send confirmed participants the prerequisite documentation 'AFTER' the registration deadline.  Required prerequisites include having a demonstrated knowledge of basic mathematics (pre-test) and completion of a number of reading assignments (listed in Pre-work section). Additional helpful pre-work will be provided to students who have been accepted by the instructor prior to the seminar to minimize course homework time. Participants must be proficient in spreadsheet functions and operations, and formatting in word processing software.


In addition to completing and submitting the Math Exercises, please read:

Pre-Work Deadline

Submit the math exercises (pre-work) according to instructions by COB on Monday, September 2, 2024.


Fundamentals of Metrology, Laboratory Auditing Program (LAP) Problems – required for State Weights and Measures Laboratories (not applicable for other participants.)

Minimum Requirements

Successful completion requires that participants fully participate in all classroom and laboratory exercises, turn in or present accurate work assignments, and be present for the entire course. There will also be a Final Exam on the last day of the class. The Final Exam and Final Calibration Certificate each contribute equal value to the final grade; the final grade also includes class participation and laboratory exercises. A passing grade on all portions is required to obtain a training certificate that indicates “successful completion” (e.g., getting a 100 percent on the final is not an excuse to participate minimally in classroom and laboratory.) Successful completion qualifies the participant to participate in the Mass, Volume and Length seminars, though those may have additional prerequisites.

*Homework note: students generally report taking one to two hours for homework each night.


State laboratory personnel who have responsibilities for developing, implementing, and/or improving the quality management system in their laboratory, as well as those who are seeking OWM recognition and/or accreditation or improvements to support recognition/accreditation.  This course is also available for non-weights and measures participants. 

Please make sure you have read the NIST Visitor and Contractor Protocols for Mitigating COVID-19 Exposure on NIST Campuses page before arriving on site.


The current registration fee for this seminar is $2,800 and confirmed participants will be sent payment instructions.  This fee does not cover travel, lodging or meal expenses.  Registration fees for State weights and measures regulatory officials and metrologists are funded by NIST OWM.


Isabel Chavez Baucom and Jose Torres
Email: isabel.chavez.baucom [at] (isabel[dot]chavez[dot]baucom[at]nist[dot]gov)

Technology Requirements

Registered participants will need to bring a 10-digit scientific calculator to use during this seminar.  Participants MUST be familiar with the use of the hand-held scientific calculator.  Additionally, use of a laptop or tablet PC is required to succeed in the seminar.  Participants must have access to Microsoft Word and Excel (version 2010 or newer are acceptable) and be able to open and use template Excel workbooks that will be provided on USB media.  Participants must be able to save/store files to USB media devices to facilitate printing and turning in homework assignments; if not able to use USB media, participants must be able to connect their laptop to a printing device by cable or BlueTooth and be able to upload files to a secure Google Drive.


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 and if bringing a vehicle onto the NIST campus, a vehicle registration card.

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.

Created March 11, 2023, Updated June 5, 2024