The Importance of Calibration Traceability

The Importance of Calibration Traceability

“A calibration performed on an instrument, can become pointless if it cannot be traced to a known reference / standard.”

Traceability is defined by the measuring result and whether its value can be compared and related to a working standard or reference. This can be done through a referring to an ‘unbroken chain’ of calibrations that is contributed from each measurement uncertainty. (Refer to the image above)

Most importantly, as long as there is a history to trace back to what an item’s value meant, this avoids any risk of confusion during the trace.

Metrological traceability requires an established calibration hierarchy.

Proper calibration ensures that your metrological & material testing equipment are credible and traceable accordingly to its:

  • Compliance to international or national standards
  • Measurement uncertainty
  • Quality assurance on their measuring result
  • Technical competence in the measurement
  • ‘Unbroken chain’ of references from thoroughly documented measurement of an authorized laboratory.
  • Valid calibration certificate that is not expired

How to trace your measurement? Have the following:

  • List of measuring uncertainty contributed from the calibration authority.
  • Equipment (e.g. serial no. etc.) used during the calibration
  • Equipment traceability reference (e.g. calibration scope, calibration source, calibration date and calibration id, certificate number).
  • Evidence of its calibration credibility and source, e.g. accreditation.
  • Refer to accredited calibration bodies with ISO/IEC 17025 or BIPM, OIML, ILAC, and ISO requirement.


As long as the measuring result can be traced to a reference of documents with an ‘unbroken’ chain of calibration… This will guarantee competence in both the technical aspects of the measurements and in the quality assurance to ensure that you get a useful and valid “traceable” calibration certificate with a set of results you can rely on.

For ISO 17025 Calibration / Consultation :

Ms. Sitee Nuraihah Zohari, Calibration Strategist
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EMAIL :  [email protected] cc [email protected]
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