The role of the National Measurement Office is to ensure UK measurement is accurate, fair and legal. It has the lead responsibility for policy on measuring instruments in use for trade and is responsible for the implementation of European Directives on measuring instruments and provides the focus for legal metrology in the UK.
The National Measurement System (NMS) is part of the NMO, which is the UK's national infrastructure of laboratories that deliver world class measurement, science and technology. NMO carries out agreed projects on a 3 year basis under this programme.
The Laboratory is responsible for the examination and approval of new weighing and measuring equipment to be used for trade, to establish compliance with the requirements of the Weights and Measures Act 1985 and relevant European legislation. Equipment ranges from railway weighbridges to supermarket scales and from beer glasses to petrol pumps. Many of the measuring instruments are total systems incorporating microprocessor-based control and management features. A consultancy service is available to manufacturers at all stages of development of equipment prior to application for type approval.
The Laboratory maintains traceability in trade measurement on behalf of the Secretary of State. It maintains mass, volume and length standards, which are used to re-verify Trading Standards Departments measures on a five year cycle. In addition NMO provides calibration and testing services in the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS)-accredited laboratories in Teddington for local authorities and customers from industry.