National Measurement Office (Department for Business Innovation and Skills)

Governmental organisations and institutions

The National Measurement Office (NMO) is an Executive Agency of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and is based in Teddington. Legal metrology NMO operates from a purpose-built laboratory in Teddington, Middlesex. The heart of our work has been ensuring that fair and accurate measurement is available and used for transactions regulated by law. One of our principal activities is preparing legislation under the Weights and Measures Act 1985 and European Communities Act 1972.

Each year in the UK, £342 billion worth of goods are sold on the basis of the measurement of their quantity (£212 billion of this is controlled by weights & measures legislation, and £130 billion by gas & electricity legislation), equating to £6.23 billion a week. In addition to this, goods worth around £280 billion per annum are weighed/measured at the industrial/business-to-business level . (Analysis of the Economics of Weights and Measures Legislation, Deloitte June 2009). Scientific metrology NMO is responsible for managing and developing the National Measurement System (NMS) which is a network of laboratories and processes that provide measurement standards and calibration testing facilities. It maintains the measurement infrastructure, represents the position of the UK internationally and influences the development of standards. Holding this responsibility has allowed the UK to be more in line with the most common international position where scientific metrology (the core of the NMS work) and legal metrology (also NMO's responsibility) are closely aligned or fully integrated.


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