News story

National Measurement System launches new UK strategy

**‘The National Measurement System: Strategy Document: 2011 - 2015’ **published today sets out the action that Government is taking to support…

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government


**‘The National Measurement System: Strategy Document: 2011 - 2015’ **published today sets out the action that Government is taking to support a National Measurement System (NMS) to meet the changing needs of business and society.

The Government’s economic policy objective is to achieve strong, sustainable, balanced growth.

Commenting on the publication, Minister for Universities and Science David Willetts who launched the Strategy at the Royal Society’s Summer Science Exhibition said:

“The National Measurement System strategy will pave the way for the continued development of our world leading measurement infrastructure by giving UK businesses confidence in the quality of measurement standards and stimulating innovation in new measurement techniques.

“Measurement processes are at the heart of British science and engineering and the UK can be proud of the advances made over the centuries. This tradition continues today in our established measurement infrastructure that underpins economic growth, business enterprise, commercial transactions and consumer confidence.

“Through the strategy, the national investment in measurement science will be exploited to the benefit of UK business to generate new knowledge, and promote growth and innovation.”

Through the Strategy for the National Measurement System, fundamental contributions will be provided in two key areas:

  • To provide complete confidence** **in the measurement standards at the core of the NMS, on which all other measurements rely; It is vital to maintain and improve these standards to enable trust and assurance in measurements for trade, healthcare, consumer protection, law enforcement and the environment; It is also essential to grow key sectors of industry such as manufacturing and instrumentation, and enhance important consumer-facing functions such as buying and selling, dispensing medication and therapies, monitoring pollution and enforcing the law

  • To boost innovation through exploiting the link between measurement science and technological advance; New measurement techniques and technologies stimulate innovation in products, processes and services, and also help to develop new skills in the workforce.

The strategy will guide the Government’s measurement infrastructure, encompassing the leadership of the National Measurement Office and the excellent research facilities at the National Physical Laboratory (NPL), The Laboratory of the Government Chemist (LGC) and NEL.

The strategy is available on the National Measurement Office website

Notes to editors:

  1. The National Measurement System (NMS) is the collective infrastructure of national facilities, expertise, knowledge, research and legal framework for reliable, consistent and internationally recognised measurement. The infrastructure encompasses essential elements of both the public and private sectors:
  • The National Measurement Office (NMO) which provides the focus for the strategic development of the system and sets the regulatory framework
  • The four NMS laboratories (National Physical Laboratory - NPL, LGC, NEL and NMO)
  • Around 1500 accredited calibration and testing laboratories (largely in the private sector)
  • Private sector manufacturers of instrumentation and control systems that apply the standards and expertise of the NMS laboratories
  • The quality control and assurance capabilities of private sector companies and public sector organisations who apply these instruments and control systems to the production of manufactured goods, operation of processes, delivery of services and regulatory compliance.
    1. NMO’s mission statement: To provide policy support to Ministers on measurement issues and a measurement infrastructure which enables innovation, promotes trade and facilitates fair competition and the protection of consumers, health and the environment. Web:
  1. This document outlines the strategy for the UK’s national measurement infrastructure from 2011 to 2015 and in particular for Government’s expenditure on that infrastructure. The Strategy sets out the action that Government is taking to support the infrastructure - provided by both the public and private sectors - that underpins economic growth, business enterprise, commercial transactions, consumer confidence and academic endeavour. It will form a framework for the future direction of the work of the National Measurement System (NMS) by setting out the priorities and rationale for funding and the ambitions for impact.

  2. The Strategy describes how the National Measurement Office (NMO) and the national measurement laboratories (NPL, LGC and NEL) will deliver leadership in measurement nationally and internationally, creating the right framework for growth and innovation. It sets out how the NMS will support action to address national challenges, particularly in the fields of energy production and efficiency, environmental sustainability and improved health, through developing the UK’s capability to undertake world class measurement science and research.

  3. The Strategy sets out the scope and scale of Government’s planned expenditure on the measurement infrastructure. It describes how NMO plans to achieve economic and social impact by exploiting the UK’s measurement assets, working with partners and collaborators in the private sector and academia, and transferring knowledge to support measurement users and improve skills. The Strategy also outlines how NMO will assess the impact of the NMS and achieve further improvements in operational efficiency.

  4. BIS’s online newsroom contains the latest press notices, speeches, as well as video and images for download. It also features an up to date list of BIS press office contacts. See for more information.

NDS Enquiries
Phone: For enquiries please contact the issuing dept

BIS Press Office Enquiries
Dan Palmer -
Tel: 020 7215 5303

National Measurement Office (NMO) Enquiries
Niall Boyle -
Tel: 020 8943 7220

Notes to Editors

Contact Information

Name BIS Press Office Job Title

Division COI Phone




Name Dan Palmer Job Title

Division Department for Business, Innovation and Skills Phone 020 7215 5303 Fax



Published 6 July 2011