Course Description:

More regulatory agencies are now specifying requirements for test and calibration results to be supported by Traceability of Measurement that conforms to ILAC P10. Regulators now believe that Traceability of Measurement is a fundamental concept for the results they receive in support of either policy development or enforcement.

In order to continue to serve their markets, laboratories must be accredited and even those that are not must demonstrate competence in Traceability, Calibration and Uncertainty of Measurement. Besides these being knowledge requirements for accreditation, they are specified in regulations that do not yet demand accreditation.

  • Does your laboratory understand Traceability of Measurement?
  • Does your laboratory understand the Traceability components of Calibration and Uncertainty?
  • Can you demonstrate the competent propagation of Uncertainties that is the process of Calibration?

This course is about the basic approaches used by testing laboratories to establish Traceability of Measurement by estimating the uncertainties for tests and internal calibrations. This two-day course examines the requirements and policies that underlie the need from regulators for traceability and the uncertainties associated with tests and internal calibrations as defined by ISO/IEC 17025. It is based on the system and technical requirements of that standard. It contains easy-to-understand approaches to preparing and estimating all contributions to the overall uncertainties associated with accredited tests and calibrations.

Seminar Fee Includes:

AM-PM Tea/Coffee
Seminar Material
USB with seminar presentation
Hard copy of presentation
Attendance Certificate
$100 Gift Cert for next seminar

The course teaches testing laboratory participants to competently propagate uncertainties for mass, temperature, and volume during the conduct of internal calibration of these devices in the their own laboratory. Uncertainties in the range of parts-per-ten to parts-per-thousand are feasible – the smallest calibration uncertainties that can normally be propagated in a testing lab. Participants will learn to establish traceability of measurement as defined by the International Guide to the Expression of Uncertainty in Measurement and International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation Guide for Traceability of Measurement (ILAC P10).

Participants will use materials related to basic measurement instrument calibration and will receive tools to estimate uncertainties during the training and thereafter. They will examine the underlying principles and concepts. They will understand the requirements and they will practice the methods.

Learning Objectives:

Upon completing this course participants should:

  • understand the traceability, calibration and uncertainty requirements from ISO/IEC 17025;
  • understand the basic concepts surrounding traceability, calibration, and uncertainty;
  • understand the basic approaches to estimating uncertainties of measurement;
  • understand the concept of data models;
  • identify the contributors of uncertainty associated with tests and calibrations;
  • identify the steps to be taken in estimating uncertainties for most basic types of measurements;
  • conduct estimations of uncertainty for the measurements conducted in their own laboratory.
  • appreciate the science behind the approaches to be used in internal calibration;
  • understand the requirements for estimating uncertainties for internal calibration;
  • understand the processes to be followed for internal calibration, and
  • demonstrate an ability to propagate uncertainties in internal calibration

Who will Benefit:

This course is designed for people who work in a testing or calibration laboratory and who participate in the operation of that laboratory.

  • Conducting testing or calibration
  • Supporting laboratory activities
  • Managing the laboratory quality system
  • Training laboratory staff
  • Managing the laboratory
  • Writing procedures
  • Conducting QA/QC
  • Preparing standards
  • Purchasing calibration services

This course will also benefit regulatory professionals who write specifications for laboratories accredited to provide results in their specific programs, such as environmental, safety, food or health programs.

  • Regulatory professionals
  • Compliance professionals
  • Production supervisors
  • Manufacturing engineers
  • Production engineers
  • Design engineers
  • Process owners
  • Quality engineers
  • Quality auditors

Course Outline:

Day One (8:30 AM – 4:30 PM) Day Two (8:30 AM – 4:30 PM)

Registration Process: 8:30 AM – 9:00 AM

Session Start Time: 9:00 AM

Introduction and Background

  • Regulatory requirements for traceability, calibration and measurement uncertainty
  • Laboratory quality, traceability, calibration and uncertainty definitions
  • Most common approaches to establish measurement traceability, conduct calibration and estimate uncertainties of measurement
  • Basic characteristics of traceability and uncertainty
    • Accuracy
    • Precision
    • Trueness
  • Traceability of measurement is a legal requirement
  • Calibration is about competent propagation of uncertainties
  • Using measurement uncertainty to determine the validity of tests and to establish calibration requirements

Basic Approaches in Estimating Uncertainty

  • Data dispersion models from Basic Statistics
  • Basic standard deviations using statistically valid sample sizes
  • Identifying the sources of uncertainty that provide contribution to the uncertainty of measurement
  • Overview of the process for estimating uncertainties of measurement for tests and calibrations.

Working through Three Sample Uncertainties and Calibrations

  • Physical (length) measurements,
  • Mass measurement,
  • Temperature measurement

Components of Traceability of Measurement as the Basis of Calibration

Using the Sample Spread sheets to estimate Uncertainties, including Calibrations.

Components of Calibration as the Basis of Ensuring Traceable Results

Using the Sample Spread sheets to conduct internal calibrations for Mass, Temperature, and Volume

Correlating Calibration and Traceability

Impact of calibration on the uncertainty of a measurement result - size of the confidence region

  • Typical measurement using Type A
  • Same measurement using Type B
  • Determining the contributors of uncertainty in the measurement
  • Identifying the most significant contributors of uncertainty in the measurement result
  • Using competent calibration to improve (reduce) the contribution of the most significant contributor
  • Working the example a second time after the equipment is calibrated

Working through actual Uncertainty and Calibrations

Calibrating Balances

  • Typical process for the calibration of the balance
  • Determining the typical testing lab contributors in the calibration
  • Recording the inputs of the calibration process
  • Recording the results of the calibration process
  • Determining repeatability
  • Determining the uncertainty of the reference device
  • Determining the uncertainty caused by resolution
  • Estimating the standard deviation (standard uncertainty) of the actual calibration
  • Developing the combined uncertainty
  • Recording the final uncertainty of the calibration.

Calibrating Thermometers

  • Typical process for the calibration of a liquid in glass thermometer at ice point
  • Determining the typical testing lab contributors in the calibration
  • Recording the inputs of the calibration process
  • Recording the results of the calibration process
  • Determining repeatability
  • Determining the uncertainty of the reference device
  • Determining the uncertainty caused by resolution
  • Estimating the standard deviation (standard uncertainty) of the actual calibration
  • Developing the combined uncertainty
  • Recording the final uncertainty of the calibration.

Calibrating Pipettes

  • Typical process for the calibration of a pipette using gravimetric tools
  • Determining the typical testing lab contributors in the calibration
  • Recording the inputs of the calibration process
  • Recording the results of the calibration process
  • Determining repeatability
  • Determining the uncertainty of the reference device
  • Determining the uncertainty caused by resolution
  • Estimating the standard deviation (standard uncertainty) of the actual calibration
  • Developing the combined uncertainty
  • Recording the final uncertainty of the calibration.

Creating calibration certificates (sample internal calibration processes)

  • Certificate requirements from 17025
  • Requirements to show competence of the calibration process
  • Sample certificates from the sample internal calibration processes
  • Certificate of calibration for the balance
  • Certificate of calibration for the thermometer
  • Certificate of calibration for the pipette

Meet Your Instructor

J.E.J. (Ned) Gravel
Educator, Laboratory Assessor, Accreditation Expert, Professional Accreditation Body Lead Evaluator

Ned Gravel is a facilitator of cultural change within laboratories and accreditation bodies. He understands best practice in QMS and voluntary conformity assessment. Within the international accreditation community, he is respected for his knowledge and the credibility of his work in the recognition programs that define accreditation body MLAs and MRAs. Ned is a certified lead assessor within one of the Exemplar Global assessor certification programs he helped create. He is a certified association executive (Canadian Society for Association Executives). Besides laboratory quality system training, laboratory assessor training, and international peer evaluator training within APLAC and IAAC, Ned also spent three years as the ILAC liaison delegate to ISO/TC 176 and understands the challenges of management system certification. Here, Ned is surrounded by the graduates of his ISO/IEC 17011 course for new staff of APLAC member accreditation bodies.

Ned is a licensed engineer, his background also includes the command of operational military organisations in specific technical fields and the civilian management of international technical businesses.

Business experience includes management and marketing of national laboratory accreditation programs, management of laboratories, facilitated training, and the negotiation of international agreements in support of trade. Ned was Canada's delegate to the ISO/CASCO committee for the creation and amendment of ISO/IEC 17025. Here, Ned receives his certificate of recognition as an APLAC Lead Evaluator from Mr. Terrence Chan, APLAC Chair, 2005 - 2011.

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