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Australian Government: National Measurement Institute - Trade MeasurementAustralian Government: National Measurement Institute - Trade Measurement
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Point of Sale Systems

POS system Point of sale (POS) systems are a central mechanism of transactions that take place in a trading environment. The system is typically used to calculate the price of an item based on its measurement, then display it to the customer and finally generate a receipt, label or other printout.

Australian businesses depend on POS systems to conduct their day-to-day operations of trade and customers depend on them to provide information in a clear and accurate manner. NMI’s requirements for POS systems – including the assessment performed to issue a certificate of approval and verification of each system by its appointed licensees – ensures that this happens.

So, with this in mind, NMI has gathered the POS resources that it has published and consolidated it in to this POS portal of ‘must know’ information to assist businesses, servicing licensees and POS suppliers, in that POS systems are compliant.

This page also outlines what you should know following the introduction of the new 1 August 2012 pattern approval scheme of POS systems that led to the new general certificate of approval S1/0B, following a review of S1/0A and a period of consultation (read consultation paper).     

In August 2012, NMI introduced a new requirement for POS systems – all POS systems installed or modified after August 2012 must be compliant with NMI M 7 Pattern Approval Specifications for POS Systems, they require a certificate of approval that has been issued by NMI and must be marked with an approval number prior to verification.

These requirements are applicable to POS systems which connect to a measuring instrument (e.g. supermarket scales, weighbridges) and perform functions such as stored tare or price computation.

Businesses

This new requirement came about to ensure that POS systems are now consistently assessed against the necessary requirements in NMI M 7 so that they provide clear and accurate information for the business and customer.

Verification of POS systems also ensures that instruments are setup and configured correctly according to the relevant certificate of approval. 

Provided below is a list of FAQs and links to key documents, to help you understand the significance of POS systems, this new requirement and how it affects you as a business.

Q1. Do I have to change my current POS system?

A. No – POS systems that are compliant with the previous general supplementary certificate of approval S1/0/A and were installed before 1 August 2012 can remain in use without change, indefinitely.

Q2. If I make changes to my pre-1 August 2012 installed POS system such as an upgrade in software will I need to comply with the new requirements?

A. Yes – if you make:

  • changes to the method of price computation or manipulation of the measurement data
  • changes to the software controlling the ticket or label formatting
  • other software changes which relate to the measurement operation
  • hardware changes such as replacement of processor, display, printer etc, unless the replacement is the same or equivalent model

Q3. How will I know if my new POS system is compliant?

A. Your new POS system will have an approval number affixed to its data plate at the time of installation.

Q4. Where can I find details of POS systems that are compliant with the new requirements?

A. Certificates of approval can be found on www.measurement.gov.au/patternapprovalpos

Q5. Do POS systems which are not connected to a measuring instrument, have to be approved?

A.  No – only systems that connect to a measuring instrument are covered by these requirements.

Important Links

Licensees

Any applicable POS system which has been installed or modified after August 2012 requires an assessment by NMI. Following successful assessment, a certificate of approval and a unique approval number (in the form ‘NMI S***’) will be issued for the POS system.

Click here for POS FAQs for licensees and below for links to key documents which will help to clarify how you should deal with POS systems and this new requirements.

Important Links

Suppliers of POS Systems

As of 1 August 2012, POS system suppliers are required to submit a typical sample of a POS system to NMI for pattern approval assessment to have a certificate of approval issued. NMI will assess the features and functions of the system whilst it is connected to a typical measuring instrument to determine whether the system meets the requirements of NMI M 7. Following successful assessment, NMI will issue a certificate of approval (in the form of ‘NMI S***). Once the certificate of approval has been issued, the POS system must have a data plate fitted and be verified by a servicing licensee who holds the licence subclass 18.2. The licensee will place a verification mark on the POS system.

This new requirement came about to ensure that POS systems are now consistently assessed against the necessary requirements in NMI M 7 and are aligned more consistently with OIML international requirements.

Provided below is a list of FAQs to help understand the pattern approval process of POS systems.

Q1. How do I make an application?

A. Submit an application form. Give as much detail as you are able including a description of hardware and software (e.g. type of measuring instrument it connects to, printer type, display type, operating system, software version number).

You should receive an acknowledgment letter within a week, giving you a reference number.

Q2. Do POS systems, which are not connected to a measuring instrument, have to be approved?

A.  No – only systems that connect to a measuring instrument are covered by these requirements.

Q3. What if I want to use different hardware than the hardware originally sent to NMI for assessment?

A. The certificate of approval will describe the hardware and software configuration of the instrument that was provided for pattern approval assessment.  Where appropriate, the certificate will permit the use of equivalent components. This typically allows you to use different controllers, operator displays, customer displays and receipt or label printers. For example, you would have to have the certificate updated if you were going to replace an LED display with an LCD one, but not if you were going to replace a display with a similar technology, but different make and model. You are responsible for ensuring that the system remains compliant with NMI M 7 and the certificate of approval at all times.

Q4. What if I am only involved in supplying software for POS systems?

As a supplier of software for POS systems, you are responsible for fulfilling the requirements of NMI M 7 including those where hardware can have an impact. This means that the assessment and approval of POS systems must consider both the hardware and software requirements. NMI M 7 details how specific measurement information must be presented. The hardware used with the POS system will affect compliance with the requirements of NMI M 7, so the hardware and software configurations must be described in the certificate of approval. As a supplier of software for POS systems, you must ensure your clients use hardware configurations that remain compliant with NMI M 7 and fit the description of the certificate of approval. The hardware configuration described in the certificate of approval may permit the use of equivalent components as described in the answer to Q3.

Q5. What if I want to change my software from the version sent to NMI for assessment?

A. NMI allows for some changes to be made to the software, provided that it is not made to the legally relevant part of the software – that is, the part of the software which controls those functions described in NMI M 7. One of the ways that this process can be managed is through version control, whereby the legally relevant part of the software is tied to a particular version number.

Q6. What if I want to use a different measuring instrument from that sent to NMI for assessment?

A. The certificate of approval will describe the measuring instrument that was provided for the pattern approval assessment. Where appropriate, the certificate will permit the use of other equivalent NMI-approved measuring instruments.

Equivalent measuring instruments are those that are functionally similar (e.g. both non-automatic weighing instruments) and do not require any software or hardware changes outside the scope mentioned above for the system to operate correctly. Changes outside these guidelines, may require a change to the certificate of approval.

Q7. Do I need to send a sample POS system with the application?

A.  No. NMI will let you know when they are ready for a sample system to be provided for assessment.

Q8. As my system has many different configurations, what do I need to send to NMI?

A.  The sample system should be interfaced to an approved measuring instrument. As part of the submission of the sample system, please include:

  • Any electronic indicators or printers that interface to the system. If there are several hardware configurations, please provide a common or representative sample. Additional equipment such as cash drawers, barcode scanners and EFT devices do not need to be included, if they are not required for the system to operate. 
  • Documentation, such as system manuals if they are available. If abbreviated instructions for typical operations are available this may also facilitate the approval process. 
  • A sample or mock-up of the proposed markings.

If some types of electronic indicators vary significantly, such as a simple two line customer display compared with a high resolution monitor, please make provision for both of these types of displays to be assessed. If the system is capable of printing both receipts and adhesive labels, please include provision for testing both methods.

Q9. What if my system is too large to send to NMI?

A. Please notify us of this when you submit your application, and we may be able to arrange a visit to your site instead.

Important Links