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Australian Government: National Measurement InstituteAustralian Government: National Measurement Institute
National Measurement Institute

Glossary and Acronyms



Authorisation, approval or recognition of meeting a standard


A set of operations that establish, under specified conditions, the relationship between values of quantities indicated by a measuring system, or values represented by a material measure or a reference material, and the corresponding values realised by standards


Fulfilment by a product, process or service of specified requirements

Conformity assessment

An activity concerned with determining directly or indirectly that relevant requirements are fulfilled

International standard

Standard recognised by an international agreement to serve internationally as the basis for assigning values to other standards of the quantity concerned

International System of Units (SI)

The units of the metric system used universally in science

Legal metrology

Legal metrology comprises all measurements carried out for any legal purpose and includes measurements that are subject to regulation by law or government decree


A set of operations having the object of determining a value of a quantity

Metre Convention

The Metre Convention is an international treaty that provides the basis of all international agreements on units of measurement


The science of measurement

National standard

Standard recognised by a national decision to serve, in a country, as the basis for assigning values to other standards of the quantity concerned

Pattern approval

Examination of the pattern (design) of a measuring instrument against national or international specifications

Primary standard

A standard that is designated or widely acknowledged as having the highest metrological qualities and whose value is accepted without reference to other standards of the same quantity

Reference material

A material or substance one or more of whose property values are sufficiently homogeneous and well established to be used for the calibration of an apparatus, the assessment of a measurement method, or for assigning values to materials

Reference standard

A standard generally having the highest metrological quality available at a given location or in a given organisation from which measurements made there are derived

Secondary standard

A standard whose value is assigned by comparison with a primary standard of the same quantity


Traceability is the property of the result of a measurement or the value of a standard whereby it can be related to stated references, usually national or international standards, through an unbroken chain of comparisons all having stated uncertainties

Verification of a measuring instrument
Procedure (other than pattern approval) which includes the examination and marking and/or issuing of a verification certificate, that ascertains and confirms that the measuring instrument complies with the statutory requirements
Verification by sampling
Verification of a homogeneous batch of measuring instruments based on the results of examination of a statistically appropriate number of specimens selected at random from an identified lot​

Working standard

A standard that is used routinely to calibrate or check material measures, measuring instruments or reference materials



AFP Australian Federal Police 
AGAL Australian Government Analytical Laboratories (now NMI)
ANSTO Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation
ANTA Australian National Training Authority
ANZECC Australia New Zealand Environment and Conservation Council
APEC Australia Pacific Economic Cooperation
APLAC Asia Pacific Laboratory Accreditation Conference
APLMF Asia Pacific Legal Metrology Forum
APMP Asia Pacific Metrology Program
AQIS Australian Quarantine Service
ARPANSA Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency
ASC Australian Sports Commission
AFLP Amplified fragment length polymorphism
ASADA Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority 
ASDTL Australian Sports Drug Testing Laboratory (NMI)
BIML International Bureau of Legal Metrology
BIPM International Bureau of Weights and Measures
BSE Bovine spongiform encephalopathy
CASCO Council Committee for Conformity Assessment (ISO)
CFIA Canadian Food Inspection Agency
CGPM General Conference on Weights and Measures
CIML International Committee of Legal Metrology
CIPM International Committee for Weights and Measures
CNG Compressed natural gas
CRM Certified reference material
CSIRO Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation
DFSNZ Drug Free Sport NZ
dPCR Digital polymerase chain reaction
EC European Commission
EDM Electronic distance measurement
EMC Electromagnetic compatibility
EMI Electromagnetic interference
EMS Electromagnetic susceptibility
EPA Environment Protection Authority
EPO Erythropoietin
FAO Food and Agriculture Organisation, UN
FSANZ Food Standards Australia New Zealand
GMO Genetically modified organism
GPS Global Positioning System
ILAC International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation
IOC International Olympic Committee
ISO International Organisation for Standardisation
JAS-ANZ Joint Accreditation Scheme of Australia and New Zealand
LPG Liquefied petroleum gas
MCCA Ministerial Council on Consumer Affairs
MLA Meat and Livestock Australia
MOU Memorandum of understanding
NATA National Association of Testing Authorities, Australia
NETS National Enabling Technologies Strategy
NMI National Measurement Institute
NML National Measurement Laboratory (now NMI)
NRS National Residue Survey (DAFF)
NSC National Standards Commission (now NMI)
OIML International Organisation of Legal Metrology
OGTR Office of the Gene Technology Regulator

PBDE Polybrominated diphenyl ether

PCB Polychlorinated biphenyl
PCR Polymerase chain reaction
POP Persistent organic pollutant
SA Standards Australia
SCOCA Standing Committee of Officers of Consumer Affairs
TMAC Trade Measurement Advisory Committee (of SCOCA)
TVC Thermal voltage converters
UTC Coordinated Universal Time
WADA World Anti-Doping Agency
WHO World Health Organisation
WIAA Weighing Industry Association of Australia
WTO World Trade Organisation