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Infographic – How Often Should Your Metrology Equipment Be Recalibrated?

metrology equipment recalibration

This is a question that we often get asked at Status and unfortunately the answer is not a straightforward one. In fact, UKAS regulations do not allow laboratories accredited for Calibration or Testing to quote a re-calibration frequency on calibration certificates or labels, unless it is at the specific request of the end-user.

The frequency of calibration can only be decided on by the end-user. However, we understand that many of our customers won’t know what to look for or consider when deciding on calibration frequency.

Here’s our 7 point criteria…

1. Does the item have mechanical movements, or is it a reference standard?
Instrument systems (Talyvels, Autocollimators, Telescopes, Clinometers, etc.) having adjustment knobs and focussing mechanisms may require service/repair/re-calibration more often than a reference standard.

2. How often is the equipment in question used?
The greater the use, the greater the likelihood of wear or damage occurring.

3. Is it a ‘master’ or ‘working’ item?
If the item is used on a daily basis, the likelihood of misuse is more prone than if it is a reference standard that may only be used on a monthly or quarterly basis.

5. What work is being carried out with the item and how accurate does it need to be?
Higher accuracy measurements with smaller uncertainties can influence the frequency at which the item is re-calibrated.

5. Where is the item used?
An item that is used in volatile, dusty or workshop environments may demand a shorter re-calibration frequency than that of an item that is used in a laboratory or standards room.

6. Who is the metrology equipment used by?
The experience of staff using the item will also have an impact on how often it needs recalibrating. Will it be used by trained personnel only, or is it a ‘common access’ item?

7. Are there any ISO or other International audit requirements?
Some auditors may impose/recommend a new calibration of an item if it is their considered opinion that the original certificate is now ‘out of date’.

The above should be taken as a guide only. If you are still unsure then the Status team are more than happy to offer our advice and recommendations. The below is a good general “rule of thumb” on calibration frequency…

1. Reference Standards (Masters): 1 to 3 years
2. Reference Standards (Working): Annually
3. Instrument systems: Annually

Want to ensure your metrology equipment performs optimally for years to come? Get in touch with the Status team today to discuss our CMM calibration services in more detail and find out how we can help your business. Call 0115 939 2228 or email