INM Commitment – Measurement Traceability Assurance

The National Institute for Metrology (INM) is a public institution subordinated to the central authority on metrology that activates according to the provisions of the Law on Metrology no. 19 from 04.03.2016 and of the Regulation of activity approved through the Government Decision no. 976 from 16.08.2016, documents referring to the assurance of metrological traceability of the results of measurements performed in the Republic of Moldova to the International System of Units (SI).

INM mission consists of the creation, research, development, maintenance and storage of national measurement standards, performance of comparisons of national measurement standards at regional and international level, as well as the preservation and dissemination of legal measurement units from the national standards to the hierarchically inferior ones until the working standards.

For the purpose of assuring the metrological traceability of measurements, INM follows the existing international practices of regional metrology organizations, and especially COOMET, to which INM participates as affiliate member, offering activities of dissemination of measurement units through calibrations performed under a Management System implemented according to SM SR ISO/CEI 17025:2006.

Hereby, INM declares that the metrological traceability of its measurements is assured according to the criteria mentioned in paragraph 2, articles 1) and 3a), from the ILAC-P10:01/2013 Policy regarding the assurance of traceability and provides all stakeholders with the following proofs:

Laboratory audit (SM SR ISO IEC 17025:2006 par. 4.6 and 4.14)

INM implements a Quality Management System that complies with ILAC policies and with the regulations of the Technical Committee for Quality Forum of COOMET. The modalities of confirming that the Management System is adequate, efficiently implemented and maintained, are established both based on internal and external audits. The procedure that describes the internal audit is PG-4.14 INM „Internal audit”, edition 09 from 26.12.2016. The internal audits assure the maintenance of a reliable Management System and leads to its continuous improvement.

The external audits are performed through the National Accreditation Body, MOLDAC, or within the regional metrology organization COOMET through the “Peer Review” procedure. The functionality of the Management System was evaluated within a peer review by internationally recognized technical experts and assessors, on the following measurement areas: temperature, flow and ionizing measurements. INM has a certificate that confirms the recognition of the Management System according to the requirements of SM SR ISO/CEI 17025:2006, No QSF-R27, issued on 3 June 2013, valid until 9 November 2017.

Staff (SM SR ISO IEC 17025:2006 par. 5.2)

The modalities of assuring the competencies of the staff involved in the activities of SI measurement units’ dissemination are presented in the procedure PG-5.2 INM „Staff”, edition 09 from 26.12.2016. This procedure sets the modality of determining the annual training needs, short or long term trainings, their planning, in order to achieve the objective of assuring traceability and correct dissemination of the measurement units. Also, the procedure refers to the assessment of the professional competencies and compatibility of the employee with his/her objectives. The confirmation of the staff competencies is stored in the laboratory in the file 3.X/D-06 „Staff” and includes: records of internal trainings, certificates issued within the TWINNING project, experience exchange, participation in PT/ILC comparisons, study diploma and other certificates. The participation in international and/or national specialized conferences is considered professional training.

Work place and environmental conditions (SM SR ISO IEC 17025:2006 par. 5.3)

INM owns a modern heating, ventilation and air conditioning system - HVAC that assures that the environmental conditions do not damage the results or the quality of a measurement. The HVAC system allows adjusting the environment work conditions to the specific requirements for each measurement. The technical requirements regarding the environmental conditions that impact directly the measurement/calibration results are mentioned in the calibration procedures. The environmental parameters that influence the results of the activity are monitored and recorded during calibrations by automatic measurement instruments, so the human influence is minimized to assure a transparent and trustworthy data transfer.

The calibration process is interrupted when the values of the mentioned parameters are out of the established limits and it is continued only after the preset environmental conditions are achieved.

The arrangement of the measurement standards is realized so the use of one standard does not interfere with the other ones located in the same room. The access of the unauthorized staff is strictly regulated and monitored by making records in the register 3.X/R-03 „Register for the evidence of the presence of unauthorized staff in the laboratory”. The up mentioned activities are described in the general procedures: PG-5.9 INM “Assuring the quality of calibration results”, edition 03 from 14.10.2016; PG-5.8 INM “Handling of calibration items”, edition 05 from 25.04.2016; PG-4.4 INM “Analysis of requests, offers and contracts”, edition 01, din 04.01.2017.

Calibration and validation methods (according to SM SR ISO/CEI 17025:2006 par. 5.4)

The QMS modalities of using and validating the measurement methods are described in the Quality Manual and in the General Procedures developed.

The laboratory uses standardized methods considered validated that are described in national and regional normative documents and international publications. The calibration methods and the validation of the software developed within the laboratory are described in PG-5.4 INM “Testing and Calibration Methods. Selection, validation and evaluation of estimated uncertainty”, edition 01 from 10.01.2017 and the calibration procedures developed by INM (List of calibration procedures is presented in Annex A). In case of new calibration methods development, the laboratory takes into account the results of inter-laboratory comparisons and of measurements performed through different methods.

Measurement uncertainty (according to SM SR ISO/CEI 17025:2006 par. 5.4.6)

The evaluation and estimation of the measurement uncertainty is performed according to SM SR Ghid ISO/CEI 98-3:2011 “Uncertainty of measurement — Part 3: Guide to the expression of uncertainty in measurement (GUM:1995)”.

The uncertainty budget for each calibrated measurement instrument is described in the developed calibration procedures, in order to make the way of estimating the measurement uncertainty more transparent.

Traceability of measurements (according to SM SR ISO/CEI 17025:2006 par. 5.6)

In the Republic of Moldova, the National Institute for Metrology manages the National Standards (ETN), approved through Decisions of the Ministry of Economy, at the recommendation of the National Metrology Council. ETN represents a source of metrological traceability for measurement units that are materialized and reproduced. ETN are primary realizations of the unit – a case when they are compared directly with international primary realizations of the same type, or secondary realizations – a case when they are periodically calibrated with the primary standards owned by BIPM or other National Metrology Institutes that have signed the Mutual Recognition Arrangement of National Standards and Calibration and Measurement Certificates, of the International Committee for Weights and Measures, CIPM MRA.

All measurements performed in the INM laboratories are traceable to the International System of Units SI, through a continuous and documented chain of calibrations, each of them contributing to the measurement uncertainty.

The modalities accepted by INM Management System for the assurance of metrological traceability, through undertaking measurement units are according to the requirements of ILAC P10 Policy:

      - From other National Metrology Institutes or Institutes designated for the services covered by CIPM MRA. These services are identified through the CIPM MRA logo on the calibration certificates.

      - From other National Metrology Institutes whose service is proper for the purpose and is supported by competence proofs (Annex B from KCDB) for at least one related CMC, but is not covered by Annex C of BIPM KCDB or by CIPM MRA, as in CIPM MRA the specific category of the Measurement Capability is not available.

The metrological traceability and the measurement capabilities structured by areas are presented in Annex A.

Quality results assurance (according to SM SR ISO/CEI 17025:2006 par. 5.9)

The modalities adopted by the Management System for the assurance of quality of calibrations results are described in PG 5.9 INM “Assuring the quality of calibration results”, edition 03, from 14.10.2016 and take into account both the performing activities and the planned ones, like the surveillance of calibrations by the application of ILC/PT schemes with laboratories from similar metrology institutes, intermediary checks, replicated calibrations, assisted assessments etc. The confirmation of the assurance of quality results control is kept in the laboratory as reports in the files of the Management System.

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