Scaled Management Systems

Calibration methods & competencies

A Summary of Calibration Methods & Competencies

In our last article we introduced readers to the importance of correctly identified calibration competencies for your employees.

In this article we supply a summary of the main performance criteria.


The unit explains:-

  1. The ability to create or modify calibration procedures in response to the introduction of alternative or new equipment, changing test conditions or to comply with client specifications.
  2. Research of existing procedures & technology.
  3. Development &/or modification of a procedure.
  4. Trialing & validation that a procedure is fit for purpose.

The unit does not provide guidance on competencies needed for calibration software development or editing.

Performance Criteria: Broad Task Elements –

  1. Assess the suitability of available calibration procedures.
  2. Develop a procedure.
  3. Prepare equipment for testing.
  4. Trial modified or new calibration procedure.
  5. Confirm the modification or new procedure is fit for purpose.
  6. Document & review the modified or new calibration procedure.

Performance Criteria: Specific competencies –

Element 1 competencies:

  • Confirm that the authorised calibration procedure is inappropriate for use or needs modification.
  • Research suitable established alternative procedures.
  • Establish whether an existing procedure can be customised or if a new procedure is needed.
  • Obtain internal approval to develop or modify a calibration procedure.
  • Confirm that available resources meet all requirements of the alternate or new procedure.
  • Obtain authorisation for any deviations from client specifications.

Element 2 competencies:

  • Identify & document all relevant calibration data, parameters & ranges to be collected and tested.
  • Describe all new instructions or modifications to ensure repeatability of tests.
  • Document all EHS hazards & controls for compliance.
  • Specify data to be recorded and develop a results template.
  • List the specifications for calibration approval & rejection.
  • Confirm that all calibration specifications can be fulfilled.

Element 3 competencies:

  • Select, use & care for the correct PPE.
  • Assemble and set reference standards or equipment prior to testing.
  • Verify performance of the reference standards & measuring equipment prior to use and adjust or calibrate.
  • Identify and minimise potential sources of measurement error.

Element 4 competencies:

  • Perform individual steps and confirm they are accurately & succinctly documented for repeatability.
  • Critically analyse readings, confirm they are valid measurements & recording this data.
  • Adjust the measuring device during tests to bring readings within tolerance.
  • Analyse test data to detect patterns or trends that may affect accuracy and validity.

Element 5 competencies:

  • Compare the results with those achieved from other calibrations.
  • Systematically analyse all factors that may influence results and implement corrective action.
  • Organise internal peer checks of procedures, data and results and include feedback.
  • Analyse equipment specifications & test methods to quantify the uncertainties in results.
  • Compare results obtained via proficiency testing with other laboratories.
  • Confirm the modified or new procedure is fit for purpose & meets specifications.

Element 6 competencies:

  • Ensure that the procedure:-
  • Is written to comply with the company’s document management & regulatory specifications;
  • Has been reviewed to comply with the company’s document management specifications.
  • Report and present the procedure to senior management for approval before use.