Reliability of measurements
Measurement results and their use is a part of our everyday life in many ways. We buy fruit from a self-service market, cold cuts from the meat counter, a tankful of petroleum or a length of garden hose; we follow the consumption of electricity and order drinks in a restaurant. Legal metrology authorities follow the weights and speeds of vehicles as part of their supervisory task.
The reliability of measurements, measurement results and measurement methods needs to be monitored whenever the price of a product or a service depends on a measurement result. This helps to ensure that consumers get the right amount of the product. Vendors, on the other hand, benefit from the fact that the rules of the trade are the same for everyone, and competition is not distorted because of unreliable measurements.
Measurements need to be monitored also whenever a decision by an authority is made on the basis of a measurement result or when products are packed and the quantity of product is indicated on the package.
The reliability of measurements can be ensured by selecting an appropriate measuring instrument that meets specifications, is fit for purpose and has been subjected to regular reliability checks.