This page belongs to: National Measurement Institute
About pattern approval
Measuring instruments used for trade in Australia must be pattern approved.
Pattern approval is where an instrument is tested against our national or international standards. This determines the measurement accuracy of the instrument and whether the instrument retains this accuracy under a range of environmental and operating conditions.
We evaluate measuring instruments to check they meet specific requirements. If your instrument complies with the pattern approval process, we’ll issue a certificate of approval.
Apply for pattern approval
1. Read approval and certification procedures
2. Review requirements, guidelines and procedures relevant to your instrument
3. Complete and submit application form
4. After we receive your application
When we receive your application, we will confirm receipt and next steps. We either:
- test and assess your instrument pattern
- assess test results from other International Organisation for Standardization (ISO) 17025 accredited facilities with appropriate scope of accreditation
- assess test results from countries participating in the International Organisation of Legal Metrology (OIML) certification system or other mutual acceptance arrangements.
See pattern approval instrument testing and assessment to find out more.
Pattern approval fees
The fees for pattern approval depend on the type of measuring instrument you need approved.
Our pattern approval fee guide spreadsheet provides the base rates for pattern approval.
- Use the fee level selection tab to pick your level and class of instrument.
- Use the fee estimate tab to see the tests performed and price for your level and class of instrument.
Complex instruments may take more time than the estimate in the guide.
If you have any questions about our fees please contact us.
Services we offer
National Measurement Institute (NMI) offers the following services in relation to pattern approval and non-pattern approval testing:
- help on technical matters relating to pattern approval of trade or legal measuring instruments.
- advice to industry and government authorities, who are users rather than applicants. On tender specifications or equipment involving trade or legal measurement submitted for tender
- advice on test methods and equipment necessary for testing equipment for trade or legal measurement
- review of the design and operation of a production pattern, or a proposed pattern. To ensure that there are no obvious conflicts with the Australian Pattern Approval Requirements document or particular problems which may be posed by testing
- visits to industry prior to the submission of an application for approval of an instrument for trade or legal measurement
- assistance with field trials of instruments for trade or legal measurement
- an interpretation or explanation of NMI examination results as they relate to an instrument
- the reappraisal of technical decisions arising from an examination where there is a difference in emphasis or design philosophy between the applicant and the chief metrologist
- training and assistance for potential applicants unfamiliar with national or international instrument test procedures.
Fees may be charged to cover the costs of performing any of the services listed above.
Other pattern testing services
Testing to international standards
NMI’s pattern approval laboratory is accredited by the National Association of Testing Authorities (NATA), Australia. Our accreditation is to the ISO/International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) 17025 standard for testing and calibration services in relation to pattern approval and the physical performance evaluation of metering and trade measurement equipment.
Organisations undertaking research and development and product development for electronic equipment can access the pattern approval laboratory to provide testing to IEC standards across a range of areas.
Instrument performance testing and reports
Use the pattern approval application form to apply for an instrument test report.
Non–pattern approval testing may be requested, in which case a measuring instrument test report may be issued. A measuring instrument test report is based on the performance of a module or a complete measuring instrument. It may or may not make reference to an Australian pattern approval requirements document. Such a test generally involves:
- temperature: IEC 60068-2-1 Cold; IEC 60068-2-2 Dry Heat
- humidity: IEC 60068-2-30 Damp heat, cyclic (12 h + 12 h cycle); IEC 60068-2-78 Damp heat, steady state
- electrostatic discharge immunity test: IEC 61000-4-2: 2008, Electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) – Part 4-2: Testing and measurement techniques
- radiated, radio-frequency, electromagnetic field immunity test: IEC 61000-4-3: 2020, Electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) – Part 4-3: Testing and measurement techniques
- electrical fast transient/burst immunity test: IEC 61000-4-4: 2012, Electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) – Part 4-4: Testing and measurement techniques
- surge immunity test: IEC 61000-4-5: 2014+AMD1:2017 CSV, Electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) – Part 4-5: Testing and measurement techniques
- immunity to conducted disturbances, induced by radio-frequency fields: IEC 61000-4-6: 2013, Electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) – Part 4-6: Testing and measurement techniques
- power frequency magnetic field immunity test: IEC 61000-4-8: 2009, Electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) – Part 4-8: Testing and measurement techniques
- impulse magnetic field immunity test: IEC 61000-4-9: 2016, Electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) – Part 4-9: Testing and measurement techniques
- voltage dips, short interruptions and voltage variations immunity tests for equipment with input current up to 16 A per phase IEC: 61000-4-11: 2020 RLV, Electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) – Part 4-11: Testing and measurement techniques.
Measuring instrument test reports are only made available to the applicant.
A measuring instrument test report does not imply approval for trade or legal use but may be useful for the designer, manufacturer or user to assess the performance of the equipment. For example, a load cell manufacturer may wish to assess the performance of a load cell for engineering, scientific or promotional purposes. Such a test report is similar to that issued by a NATA accredited laboratory. NATA endorsed reports can be issued for some instruments.
Pattern approved instruments
We issue certificates of approval for:
- length measuring instruments
- area measuring instruments
- spirit dispensers
- automatic tank level gauges
- alimentary product flowmeters (milk, beer)
- fuel dispensers for motor vehicles
- bulk liquid–measuring systems
- non–automatic weighing instruments
- automatic weighing instruments
- milk tanks
- vehicle tanks
- liquefied petroleum gas systems
- compressed natural gas systems
- multi–dimensional instruments
- multi–dimensional weighing instruments
- utility (gas, electricity and water) meters
- grain protein measuring instruments
- polarimetric saccharimeters
- evidential breath analysers
- digital indicators
- load cells
- fuel dispenser control systems
- fuel dispenser calculator/indicators
- point of sale (POS) systems.