Guidance

Legal metrology: support for local authorities

Resources for local regulators.

If you are responsible for legal metrology, you need to have access to appropriate standards and report your enforcement activity annually to the Office for Product Safety and Standards. Resources available to you include operational support and advice and training opportunities.

Maintaining standards

Specifications and technical guidance for standards used by local authorities for weights and measures are published by the Office for Product Safety and Standards.

Legal metrology: standards specifications (7000 series)

Each local authority must have access to a full set of local standards that can be traced to the secondary and tertiary standards we maintain. Local standards should be used under controlled conditions to calibrate working standards and test equipment.

A local authority can have its own local standards or use those of another local authority. We must approve these agreements, which should be in writing. We should also be informed if they are changed. It is possible to have arrangements with more than one local authority.

Please use the forms below if relevant:

Application for approval for a nil or partial holding of local standards (ODT, 24.7KB)

Notification of a variation of an arrangement for a nil or partial holding (ODT, 25KB) ]

Local authorities must have sufficient access to local standards, maintain sufficient working standards and test equipment to meet local needs, and provide an impartial verification and inspection service. We audit local authorities holding local standards to ensure they are calibrated or verified as required.

We provide a statutory calibration service to local authorities for mass, length and volume standards.

NMO: standards calibration

Enforcement reporting

The level of your local weights and measures enforcement work conducted over 12 months needs to be reported to the Office for Product Safety and Standards in April each year.

Legal metrology: local enforcement reporting

Operational support and advice

The Office for Product Safety and Standards has a dedicated coordination team that helps local authorities regulate legal metrology. Its remit includes policy, intelligence, investigation, equipment approval, technical requirements, and consumer engagement.

To make an enquiry please email: OPSS.enquiries@beis.gov.uk

Legal metrology: list of regulations

We publish guidance notes on types of equipment in use for trade. This information is relevant to businesses as well as local regulators.

Weights and measures regulations guidance

Local authorities often ask for our views on technical issues that impact on types of equipment or groups of organisations. Our determinations on these technical and enforcement issues are published in bulletins.

Weights and Measures Bulletins

Primary Authority

As a supporting regulator, we help primary authorities to produce advice for their partner businesses and co-ordinators relating to legal metrology, or to develop and manage relevant inspection plans.

To request this support, please complete and return: Primary Authority support request template and service standards

Training opportunities

Courses for local authority practitioners are designed to equip them with the knowledge and skills needed to work effectively with businesses and build consumer confidence in today’s challenging and evolving market place.

Details and registration: Legal metrology training courses – CTSI website

Published 17 April 2019