Course Details

Physical Metrology / Calibration / Process Measurement Courses


Metrology (from Ancient Greek metron (measure) and logos (study of)) is the Science of Measurement.  Metrology includes all theoretical and practical aspects of measurement

The word metrology is derived from the Greek word, `metron’: to measure.  It was originally used to describe precise measurement of linear dimensions of an object and many of the earlier (post-war) engineering textbooks make extensive use of the term.  It is therefore hardly surprising that the SI unit of length, the metre, is also derived from the same Greek word `metron’.  During the late fifties and early sixties the word became increasingly broadened in its meaning and it was used as a general descriptor for all types of precise measurement.  Other stems were compounded with it in order to describe this and to form sub-sets.  Phrases such as `length metrology’, `electrical metrology’, `quantum metrology’ etc. gradually came into common use.

Calibration is the process of establishing the relationship between a measuring device and the units of measure. This is done by comparing a device or the output of an instrument to a standard having known measurement characteristics.

For many operations the quality of the calibration needs to be known and is quantified by an uncertainty estimate for the calibration. This is so important for the scientific community and manufacturing operations that it has been proposed that an evaluation of the measurement uncertainty was added as part of the calibration process

From the early 1980’s continuing up until the present time the provision of formal training has rested on institutions outside of the formal tertiary education system. First the the National Calibration Service (NCS), then the National Laboratory Accreditation System and subsequently the National Laboratory Association (NLA) have provided this very necessary and sought after training.

As a result of the changes made to the education system over the past 14 yeas the NLA has put together a recommended program in order to provide a logical process for achieving competency in the laboratory.  [See guide document]

Calibration laboratories cover many fields which can logically be broken up into the following: (Select hyperlink to view course document where applicable).

General requirements

Module 1: Introduction to Measurement
Module 2: Method Validation, Procedure Writing & Certificates – Calibration & Physical Testing
Module 3: Uncertainty of Measurement – GUM(Physical)

Electrical and Temperature

DCLF Part 1
DCLF Part 2
Power & Energy Meter Calibration

Time & Frequency
Radio Frequency (This course has been discontinued, however an evaluation examination for MetCert purposes is available – see link for details)

Temperature Part 1
Temperature Part 2


Dimensional Part 1
Dimensional Part 2
Force, Torque and Hardness

Pressure Courses – Contact NLA Office for details

Coordinate Measuring Machines – Contact the NLA Office for further details regarding CMM Level 1 & Level 2


Sterilizer and Autoclave
Legal Metrology

Process Measurements

The NLA-SA is pleased to now be in a position to offer a unique measurements course which is targeted at the process industry. This course is intended to provide a background to not only how to make good repeatable and accurate measurements in industry, but also gives attendees an understanding of important related aspects such as the role of the Technical Infrastructure organisations (NMISA, SANAS, SABS and NRCS)

Process Measurements

Analytical Courses


Most analysts working in analytical laboratories have either completed a National Diploma (3 years) or a Degree in one of the Sciences at either a University of Technology or a traditional University.  The need in this area is to supplement various aspects not necessarily dealt with by the tertiary training institutions as well as laboratory personnel wishing to upgrade their skills.

These courses have been specifically designed to have a large “hands-on” component and provide attendees with the opportunity to take practical skills and tips back to their work situation.


Module 1: Introduction to Measurement
Module 2: Method Validation – Analytical
Module 3: Uncertainty of Measurement – (Analytical)

Basic Laboratory Techniques
Microbiology Practical (Water and Food Analysis)
Microbiology Method Validation and Uncertainty of Measurement Practical
Aquatic Toxicity Testing – Practical Course

Other relevant training courses

Sterilizer and Autoclave