American Association for Laboratory Accreditation (A2LA)

Measurement Uncertainty Advanced Topics


This course is intended for students who already understand the basics of measurement uncertainty estimation either from classroom experience or self education. Even though it is designed for personnel working in accredited calibration and testing laboratories, anyone working in calibration, metrology, testing, or other measurement fields should find the class beneficial. After attending the course, students should be able to confidently perform measurement uncertainty calculations that meet their needs and satisfy accreditation requirements.

Topics include: metrology and accreditation, measurement uncertainty estimation, statistical methods for measurement uncertainty, applying the GUM, determining sensitivity and correlation coefficients, establishing significant contributors, useful rules of thumb, satisfying the assessor, determining calibration intervals, guard-banding, risk, and the new Z540.3 standard.

Knowledge of mathematics beyond very basic algebra is not required. Participants are encouraged to bring their own uncertainty budgets, problems, and relevant questions to the class for discussion. All materials and resources will be provided.

Class Outline

  • Measurement Uncertainty Basics
    • Metrology, traceability, calibration, testing, and accreditation
    • The GUM Philosophy and Method
    • Uncertainty Budgets
  • Useful Statistical Methods and Principals
    • As applied in measurement uncertainty calculation
  • Step-by-Step Uncertainty Estimation
    • Writing your measurement equation
    • Estimating Type A contributions
    • Estimating Type B contributions
    • Determining which contributors are important
    • Correlations, sensitivity coefficients, and guesswork
    • Sample uncertainty budgets
  • Measurement Assurance
  • Compliance (pass/fail) testing
  • Establishing calibration intervals
  • Guardbanding
  • Decision rules
  • ANSI/NCSLI Z540.3
  • Meeting accreditation requirements

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