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NSAI celebrates World Metrology Day

Wednesday 20th May 2015: From monitoring heart rates to pharmaceutical ingredients, aircraft altitude, fuel gauges and driving speed, the science of measurement lies behind everything we do.  Today, the NSAI (National Standard Authority of Ireland) celebrates World Metrology Day and the anniversary of the Metre Convention, signed in 1875 to provide the basis for a coherent measurement system worldwide.

‘Measurements and Light’ is the theme for World Metrology Day 2015. The topic was chosen to align with the UNESCO International Year of Light and Light-based technologies 2015, a global initiative designed to highlight the key role light and optical technologies play in our daily lives and their importance for our future and for the sustainable development of the society we live in. 

Commenting on World Metrology Day, Maurice Buckley, Chief Executive of NSAI stated: “The science of measurement underpins every developed society. Metrology enables the application and advancement of light-based technologies and will allow for a better understanding of climate change and more efficient energy production.” 

To celebrate World Metrology Day, NSAI is reminding businesses to get their measuring equipment that is used for trade checked by its Legal Metrology division, the statutory body responsible for regulating and supervising weights and measures in the Republic of Ireland. Its work protects consumers and businesses around the country and includes testing the accuracy of weighbridges, petrol pumps, taxi meters, and supermarket scales and also ensures that the quantities contained in packaged goods are correct.  

As Ireland’s official standards and metrology body, NSAI aims to inspire consumer confidence and create reliability of products and services.  “Standards and measurements affect every aspect of our daily lives - whether it’s the concrete used in the building of your home, or weighing of household waste.  We especially rely on correct measurement when buying or selling goods but we only become aware of them when something goes wrong and competitions, revenue and lives can be lost.  We have made a number of developments in the metrology sector in Ireland and we are delighted to announce a 36% decrease in the number of customers reporting inaccuracies between 2013 and 2014” said Maurice Buckley, CEO, NSAI.

The NSAI received over 128 consumer queries and reports of inaccuracies in 2014, a decrease of 72 when compared to 2013. In 2014, NSAI’s metrology divisions tested:

  • 1,609 taxi meters in conjunction with the National Transport Authority (NTA) and issued 548 warning notices.
  • NSAI carried out a targeted campaign in the liquid fuel sector. Of the oil tankers inspected, 89% were compliant, while petrol pumps had a 93% compliance rate.
  • Maintained 14 national measurement standards 
  • Conducted 340 research activities in conjunction with a number of institutes including Dublin City University (DCU) and the Metrology Institute of Solvenia.
  • Issued 4,400 calibration certificates 
  • Launched a new proficiency testing scheme 
  • Carried out 24 proficiency tests, up from 14 in 2013

NSAI invites members of the business community and the general public to get involved in the development of standards by visiting Your Standards, Your Say
All standards are also available to purchase from 

Metrology in Daily Life

To see how metrology impacts daily life, have a look at this short video by the Dutch National Metrology Institute.


About NSAI Legal Metrology

NSAI Legal Metrology is the statutory body responsible for regulating and supervising weights and measures in the Republic of Ireland. As well as a national head office in Dublin, Legal Metrology has seven regional centres around the country.
The service is responsible for:

  • Maintaining a uniform system of units of measurement.
  • Ensuring the accuracy of measuring instruments used in trade.
  • Maintaining confidence in the measurement of quantities of goods on sale to consumers.
  • Representing Irish business and consumers on matters of legal metrology at national and international level.

About NSAI National Metrology Laboratory

National Metrology Laboratory (NML) is the national metrology institute for Ireland and is responsible for establishing, maintaining and developing the national measurement standards for physical quantities and their dissemination to Irish users.  NML operates as a division of NSAI (The National Standards Authority of Ireland).

Metrology: The science of measurement underpins every developed society. Commerce, science, government, education and law all require accurate, reliable and consistent measurement standards. The International Systems of Units (SI), which is the modern version of the metric system, is the recognized world-wide system of measurement.  The measurement standards maintained by NML are the most accurate representations of the SI units available in Ireland and provide the gateway by which measurement results can be traced to the International System of Units (SI).

Calibration: NML's cutting-edge calibration services are regularly upgraded and extended in line with advances in measurement technology. We also continually improve our services to meet the changing needs of our diverse customer base. Characterized reference standards, experienced staff and a carefully controlled environment ensure that low measurement uncertainties, suitable for calibrating the highest quality measuring instruments, are achieved.