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Calibration and Certification

Calibrate: to standardize (as a measuring instrument) by determining the deviation from a standard so as to ascertain the proper correction factors (Source Merriam-Webster on-line dictionary)

There are many levels of Calibration documentation. They range from a simple Calibration Label, to a Certificate of Calibration (Cert) with before and after data, and measurement uncertainity, and many in between. Examples include a Certificate of Conformance, Certificate of calibration with no data, Certificate of Calibration with fail data. This is not by any means a complete list. Generally the higher level of documentation the higher the price of the calibration. Different auditing bodies require different levels of documentation.

If you were to buy a brand new Calibrated Instrument from a Major Manufacturer you may or may not get a Cert. You will sometimes get some type of performance statement. Many vendors will sell you the same instrument you can buy from the manufacturer and charge extra for the calibration. Used equipment dealers will sometimes calibrate what they sell and apply a Calibration Label to the instrument. If you need a Cert they will charge extra for it. Generally these certs will contain only the calibration date, the recommended recalibration date, and the initials or the id number of the person that performed the calibration.

Generally if you have no requirements from an internal or external auditing body, or if you are a home handyman or small business a Calibration Label on the instrument should be sufficient. If you do need a Cert of some type, Ebay is probably not the place to buy an instrument. You would need to contact the Seller to see if their cert will conform to your specific requirements. It has been my experience that auditing bodies all have unique requirements, and there isn’t a standard cert to cover them all.

Disclaimer: Guides are submitted by readers and the views expressed belong solely to the author.