National Conference on Weights and Measures

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The National Conference on Weights and Measures (NCWM) is a not-for-profit corporation dedicated to developing and regulating the United States technical standards for weights and measures. The organization's official mission is to advance a healthy business and consumer climate through the development and implementation of uniform and equitable weights and measures standards using a consensus building process.[1][2]


The first Weights and Measures Law was signed on March 2, 1799 by John Adams. NCWM found its beginnings when a meeting of the states was held in 1905 to discuss challenges faced in regulating weights and measures. The outcome was an agreement to meet again the next year and the association took form in an effort to bring stakeholders together to set national standards for voluntary adoption and implementation by the states. Annual meetings have been held every year with the exception of 1909, 1917, 1918, 1932, 1933, 1934, 1942, 1943, 1944, 1945, and 1948. NCWM will hold its 101st Annual Meeting in July 2016 in Denver, Colorado.

From 1905 to 1957, the Director of the National Bureau of Standards served as Chairman of NCWM. Beginning in 1958, NCWM members elect a state or local weights and measures official each year as its chairman. The National Bureau of Standards, later named the National Institute of Standards and Technology, continued to manage meetings and membership until 1997 when NCWM formed a 501(c)(6) not-for-profit corporation. From 1998 to 2008, NCWM contracted management services through a private company. In 2008 the Board of Directors hired the first NCWM employee as Executive Director who in turn hired additional staff and opened offices later that year in Lincoln, Nebraska.

The various model standards adopted by NCWM are published annually by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)[3] in NIST Handbook 44: Specifications and Tolerances and Other Technical Requirements for Weighing and Measuring Devices, NIST Handbook 130: Uniform Laws and Regulations and NIST Handbook 133: Checking the Net Contents of Packaged Goods.


NCWM is headquartered in Lincoln, Nebraska. NCWM is governed by bylaws as adopted by its membership and policies as set by its board of directors. NCWM administers the National Type Evaluation Program (NTEP). This program provides certification that a manufacturer of a particular model or family of weighing or measuring devices is capable of meeting the United States standards as adopted by NCWM and published in NIST Handbook 44. Most states require NTEP Certification for new equipment placed into commercial service.[4]


NCWM membership is open to any person. The membership year is October 1 to September 30.


There are three standing committees.


  • Fuels and Lubricants Subcommittee (FALS)
  • Packaging and Labeling Subcommittee (PALS)

National Type Evaluation Program (NTEP)[edit]

The development of the National Type Evaluation Program (NTEP) provides manufacturers the ability to be evaluated and certified one time with acceptance throughout the United States. NTEP is a means of ensuring national requirements are met before any equipment is allowed in the marketplace.

The NTEP Committee is responsible for oversight of NTEP. The Committee provides final review and approval of recommendations to amend NCWM Publication 14 Technical Policy, Checklists and Test Procedures and makes recommendations to the National Conference on Weights and Measures (NCWM) Board of Directors for amendments to NCWM Publication 14 Administrative Policy. The NTEP Committee also addresses NCWM’s involvement in international standards development and agreements related to type evaluation and certification.

NTEP Certificate of Conformance[edit]

NTEP certification is issued by NCWM upon successful completion of the evaluation process. This NTEP Certificate of Conformance indicates that the device manufacturer has demonstrated the ability to meet applicable requirements for commercial weighing and measuring equipment in the United States as specified in NIST Handbook 44: Specifications and Tolerances and Other Technical Requirements. NTEP certification is required in most states in the United States.

NTEP Authorized Laboratories[edit]

There are nine NTEP-authorized laboratories:

National Type Evaluation Program Sectors[edit]

NTEP serves as a means of assurance that a device will be manufactured in accordance with United States standards for commercial weighing and measuring devices. These standards are adopted by the NCWM and published in NIST Handbook 44: Specifications and Tolerances and Other Technical Requirements. NCWM utilizes special committees called National Type Evaluation Program Sectors to develop the technical policies, checklists and test procedures that are used for the evaluation and certification process. These criteria are published annually in NCWM Publication 14.

Sector members include authorized laboratories, manufacturers, technical advisors and the NTEP Administrator. The sectors provide a forum for consensus building among evaluators and the technical experts who design and market the equipment. There are five NTEP Sectors, each specializing in a particular area of commercial weighing and measurement.

  • Belt-Conveyor Scale Sector
  • Grain Analyzer Sector
  • Measuring Sector
  • Software Sector
  • Weighing Sector


NCWM offers many meetings throughout the year to allow every person a voice in the issues facing the weights and measures community today. The meetings have direct impact on the national standards. The two largest conferences are the Interim Meeting and the Annual Meeting. The Interim Meeting is held each January as a forum to develop proposals to amend the United States weights and measures standards contained in NIST Handbooks 44, 130, and 133 and determine each proposal's status for the Annual Meeting. The Annual Meeting is held each July to further develop proposals and vote on proposed amendments to the national standards.


  • [1]: 2018 NCWM Interim Meeting, January 21–24, 201 / St. Pete Beach, Florida
  • [2]: 102nd NCWM Annual Meeting, July 16–20, 2017 / Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

NCWM also holds numerous NTEP Sector meetings throughout the year. Each sector specializes in a particular area of commercial weighing and measurement.

National Outreach[edit]

NCWM works in partnership with four regional associations to facilitate a grassroots approach to standards development. They are the Central,[6] Northeastern,[7] Southern[8] and Western Weights and Measures Associations.[9] These associations are stand-alone organizations composed of volunteer leadership from the public and private sectors of the weights and measures community. The leadership and committee structure of these associations is traditionally very similar to that of NCWM.

Regional associations serve as the gateway for new proposals to amend the national standards. Any person or organization may submit a proposal to one or all of the regions by completing NCWM Form 15. The regional committees will conduct open hearings, deliberate and determine whether these new items will be forwarded to the national committees for further consideration. Regional associations also serve as a means to continue development of items on the agendas of the national committees. Finally, these associations provide an opportunity for state and local officials and private companies to conduct training events, build relationships and work together toward common goals of quality standards that are interpreted and applied uniformly.[citation needed]


The public can have a direct role in developing the laws and regulations for weights and measures by participating in the standards development process. The standards are subject to amendment on an annual basis. They are adopted by NCWM and contained in the following NIST Handbooks and NCWM Publications.[10]

  • NIST Handbook 44 Specifications, Tolerances and Other Technical Requirements for Weighing and Measuring Devices
  • NIST Handbook 130 Uniform Laws and Regulations in the Areas of Legal Metrology and Engine Fuel Quality
  • NIST Handbook 133 Checking the Net Contents of Packaged Goods[11]
  • NCWM Publication 14 Administrative Policy
  • NCWM Publication 14 Grain Moisture Meters & Near Infrared Grain Analyzers
  • NCWM Publication 14 Measuring Devices
  • NCWM Publication 14 Weighing Devices
  • NCWM Publication 14 CD


  1. ^ "National Conference on Weights and Measures (NCWM)". 
  2. ^ "California Department of Food and Agriculture". 
  3. ^ "National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)". 
  4. ^ NIST Handbook 155 Weights and Measures Program Requirements: A Handbook for the Weights and Measures Administrator (2011 ed.). Gaithersburg, MD: National Institute of Standards and Technology. 2011. pp. 13–14. 
  5. ^ "Measurement Canada". Measurement Canada. Archived from the original on November 17, 2011. Retrieved October 21, 2010. 
  6. ^ "Central Weights and Measures Association". Central Weights and Measures Association. Retrieved October 21, 2010. 
  7. ^ "Northeastern Weights and Measures Association". Northeastern Weights and Measures Association. Retrieved October 21, 2010. 
  8. ^ "Southern Weights and Measures Association". Southern Weights and Measures Association. Retrieved October 21, 2010. 
  9. ^ "Western Weights and Measures Association". Western Weights and Measures Association. Retrieved October 21, 2010. 
  10. ^ "NIST". The National Institute of Standards and Technology. 
  11. ^ "abc News". abc News. 

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