This page belongs to: National Measurement Institute

Point of sale systems

Point of sale systems (POS) are used for buying and selling goods and services.

Australian businesses depend on POS systems for everyday trade. Customers expect them to be accurate and reliable.

Under trade measurement laws, POS systems connected to measuring instruments and used for trade must be:

  • pattern approved
  • verified.

POS systems and components

A POS system:

  • converts measurement results into a net measurement or price
  • can display this to the operator or customer
  • generates a label, docket or other form of transaction record.

A supermarket checkout is a POS system that connects to a scale and calculates price. POS systems connected to weighbridges provide drivers with tickets showing the weight of their load. Both have software and hardware components. They can connect to measuring instruments physically through cables or wirelessly.

Similar systems or devices that we don’t class as POS systems:

  • duplicate, but don’t calculate, measurement data or price (such as simple printers or indicators)
  • control the connected instrument or affect its measuring performance (such as those connected to fuel dispensers).

Pattern approval

If you supply or design a POS system for trade use in Australia you must submit an application for pattern approval.

We assess POS system design in accordance with the requirements of NMI M 7 - pattern approval specifications for point of sale systems.

We must also approve the connected measuring instrument. POS systems not connected to an approved measuring instrument do not need pattern approval. Similar systems or devices may need to meet other pattern approval requirements.

See all pattern approval requirements and guidance documents.

Certificates of approval

Once approved, we issue a certificate of approval for the POS system.

The certificate of approval:

  • will detail the POS system hardware and compatible measuring instrument
  • will specify the approved software version(s)
  • may permit the use of equivalent hardware components such as printers and displays where appropriate
  • may permit connection to other compatible approved measuring instruments
  • will include a test procedure to verify the POS system.


licensed verifier must verify a POS system before you can use it for trade.

The verifier will assess whether:

  • the connected instrument is pattern approved
  • the POS system complies with its certificate of approval
  • the POS system meets verification requirements.

POS systems installed before 1 August 2012 do not require verification. See verification requirements in the guidance document for the pattern approval of point of sale systems.

Changing and maintaining POS systems

If you submitted a certificate of approval, you should ensure any changes to POS systems comply with the certificate.

If the certificate permits you can:

  • make software updates
  • repair or adjust hardware.

Changes to systems in use may require re-verification after the change. If the certificate does not permit the change, then you may need to seek re-approval or an update to your certificate.

POS system users and verifiers should check with the supplier or designer who submitted the certificate before making any changes. See the certificate for their details.

To confirm if changes require re-approval or re-verification, email us.

Was this page helpful?

Was this page useful?

Thank you for your feedback!

Would you like to tell us more about your experiences with this page? (optional)

Feedback you provide will not be directly answered. If you require a reply, please reach out to the page contact directly. For any other queries, please use our general enquiries web form.

Please do not include personal or financial information (e.g. email addresses, phone numbers or credit card details).

Your feedback is covered by our privacy policy.