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Fundamentals of Metrology


The 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 (2019 Ed):

  • 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:

A number of notebooks and course materials will be provided.


Required prerequisites include having a demonstrated knowledge of basic mathematics (pre-test) and completion of a number of reading assignments.


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


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

Minimum Requirement(s):

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 will contribute 50 percent of the grade and the class and laboratory exercises will be 50 percent of the grade. A passing grade on both portions is required to obtain a training certificate that indicates “successful completion” (e.g., getting a 100 percent on the final will not be 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.

Technology Requirement(s):

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 either CD-ROM or USB media. Participants must be able to save/store files to USB media devices or CD-RW 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.

Related Project(s):

NIST OWM has a number of other training opportunities scheduled. For more information:


Created January 25, 2012, Updated May 11, 2023