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NIST and NCWM: New Roles and New Publications for the 2023 Cycle

NIST OWM continues to work with NCWM to determine how we can best serve NCWM committees while continuing to serve the weights and measures community at large. In their capacity as “Technical Advisors,” NIST OWM staff have historically worked with various NCWM Committees and Task Forces to provide technical input and advice to the Committee and other NCWM members and to document the background and rationale for Committee actions relative to proposed changes to NIST Handbooks 44, 130, and 133.

As the breadth and complexity of Committee technical issues have continued to expand, the roles and responsibilities of the NIST Technical Advisor in the NCWM Standing Committees have been shifting to focus more on NIST’s technical role and away from administrative tasks associated with Committee work.

What is Changing?

Technical Advising. First, rest assured the NIST Technical Advisors will continue to assist NCWM Committees and members through OWM’s written technical analyses and will continue to provide verbal and written technical advice to Committee members and other NCWM stakeholders, including the National Type Evaluation Program Technical Sectors and NCWM Task Groups. OWM will also continue to provide ongoing guidance and interpretations on NIST Handbooks 44, 130, and 133 and other legal metrology issues to regulators, industry, and other stakeholders.

NCWM Reports. Our role with NCWM Committee Reports, however, has changed. One change is in OWM’s role in preparing the NCWM Annual Reports. OWM advisors will continue to participate along with other committee members in the development and documentation of meeting decisions and discussions.

OWM recently published the latest version of the “Annual NCWM Report” as NIST Special Publication 1281, Report of the 105th & 106th National Conference on Weights and Measures. However, this will be the last version of the “NCWM Annual Report” that NIST will publish as a NIST Special Publication. NIST OWM will continue to provide access to all prior e-versions of the NCWM Annual Conference reports via our publications webpage. NCWM intends to republish the reports of the 105th & 106th NCWM Annual Meetings as two separate reports for each year. All future NCWM Annual Reports will be provided directly by the NCWM. Please contact NCWM at info [at] (info[at]ncwm[dot]com) for further information on these documents.

New NIST Publication. A second change related to publications regards the detailed technical content and analysis provided in the L&R and S&T reports. This information has served as an important tool in promoting uniform interpretation and application of legal metrology standards found in NIST Handbooks 44, 130, and 133 and other weights and measures practices; OWM’s role in contributing to that background has long been a key driver for OWM’s preparation of the Annual NCWM Final Report.

In addition to publishing NIST Handbooks 44, 130, and 133, NIST OWM is currently developing a new NIST SP 2200 publication “NIST Summary of U.S. Legal Metrology Activities” that will maintain an annual record of proposed and adopted changes to the Handbooks, including background information, key technical points, and discussions and actions from NCWM and regional weights and measures association meetings. This will serve as a reference publication for the weights and measures community and will provide an archival record of the history of such changes to nicely complement the NCWM’s annual report. This new publication, along with other resources provided by NIST, will assist regulators and industry in interpreting and applying the provisions of the NIST Handbooks and will also provide information on other national and international legal metrology activities. Stay tuned!

Created September 30, 2022, Updated October 3, 2022