International Metrological Organizations

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

International Metrological Organizations


Organizations established on the basis of international agreements for the realization and preservation of primary units of physical quantities and the achievement of international uniformity of measures. As of 1973 there were three international organizations in metrology, measurement technology, and instrument-making: the organization of member countries of the Metric Treaty (1875), the International Organization of Legal Metrology (1956), and the International Measurement Confederation (1958). The Soviet Union is a member of the first two organizations and takes part in their work. The Scientific and Technical Society of the Ministry of Instrument-making of the USSR is a member of the third organization.

According to the Metric Treaty, general conferences on weights and measures are held at least once every six years to adopt decisions concerning improvements to the metric system. The decisions are prepared by the International Bureau of Weights and Measures, which consists of representatives of 18 countries. The bureau has seven affiliated consultative committees (on units, the definition of the meter, the definition of the second, thermometry, electricity, photometry, and standards for measuring ionizing radiation). Committee sessions take place at least once every two years.

The international Bureau of Weights and Measures (Bureau International des Poids et Mesures; BIPM), with headquarters in Sevres (near Paris), is a scientific institution where the international standards of basic units are kept and international metro-logical work is conducted on the development and preservation of standards and on comparisons of national standards to international standards and among themselves.

The International Organization of Legal Metrology (Organisation Internationale de Metrologie Legale; OIML) has 37 member countries and eight corresponding member countries (1972). Its aims include the creation of a center for information and documentation on the metrological services of the member countries and the standardization of metrological regulations issued and supervised by government agencies. The International Bureau of Legal Metrology (in Paris) has been established within the framework of the organization. The work of the bureau is supervised by the International Committee for Legal Metrology. International conferences on legal metrology are held at least once every six years.

The International Measurement Confederation (IMEKO) combines 19 national scientific and technical societies dealing with measurement technology and instrument-making (1972). The confederation holds international congresses on measurement technology and instrument-making once every three years. Symposia dealing with specific problems of metrology and measurement and instrument-making technology are held in the intervals between congresses. The general committee of the confederation is responsible for organizational work; its head-quarters are in Hungary.

Scientific and technical cooperation of the socialist countries in metrology is organized within the framework of the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance (COMECON). A metrology section, which is responsible for guiding work on the checking of national standards and on the development of a single system of standards for member countries (based on the International System of Units) and standard norms for precision and methods for recording quantity and for testing quality of raw materials and manufactured products, was organized in 1971 under the permanent commission of COMECON on standardization.

In addition to the international metrological organizations already discussed, there are other international organizations concerned with the study of a number of problems in metrology. For example, within the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) a technical committee (TC-12) is working on the standardization of units, and within the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) the technical committee no. 24 is working on electrical quantities and units.


Burdun, G. D., and B. N. Markov. Osnovy metrologii. Moscow, 1972.
Demusiak, A. G. Mezhdunarodnaia organizatsiia po standartizatsii. Moscow, 1967.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
The international metrological organizations, keeping in mind these facts, have developed the concept of uncertainty of measurement.

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