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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 [423KB DOC]  [362KB PDF].

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

Verification

A 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 [279KB DOCX] [361KB PDF]  

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, contact us at patternapproval@measurement.gov.au

Read more

Contact us

  • Email patternapproval@measurement.gov.au
  • Phone 1300 686 664
  • Write to us at Pattern Approval Section, National Measurement Institute, 36 Bradfield Road, West Lindfield, NSW 2070

Last updated: 17 February 2020

Content ID: 66380