Successful training course on taking over a leading role in Technical Committees

Participants discussing calculation of key comparison reference values with Dr Carine Michotte (BIPM)

First ‘BIPM-EURAMET TC Leadership Course’ held in February

Eighteen participants from 12 EURAMET member countries have successfully completed the first 'BIPM-EURAMET TC Leadership Course'. The training will allow participants to make personal contributions in their possible future work as Technical Committee Chairs, support the current chairs in CIPM MRA related matters and enable the participants to become more effective in their own involvement in the CIPM MRA. The CIPM MRA is the Mutual Recognition Arrangement between National Metrology Institutes (NMIs) all over the world drawn up by the International Committee for Weights and Measures (CIPM).

Significant interest in the BIPM Capacity Building and Knowledge Transfer programme from NMIs and Designated Institutes (DIs) in Europe prompted EURAMET to initiate and sponsor the organisation of the 'BIPM-EURAMET TC Leadership Course'.

The course, a joint initiative between the BIPM and EURAMET, was held at the BIPM in France from 7 to 10 February 2017. Feedback gathered from Katharina Zellhofer, BEV (Austria), "I got a much better understanding [of the work as TC-Chair; editor's note] and therefore will be able to support my colleagues and may implement relevant information where needed. I am very grateful for this participation" underlines the aim of the course and shows that NMIs, DIs and EURAMET will all benefit from the transfer of knowledge, as the participants disseminate the expertise they gained throughout the metrology community.

The course content was designed for experienced Technical Committee (TC) members within EURAMET who have already been involved in the CIPM MRA and its processes. The course provided participants with an understanding of the importance of metrology in the global quality infrastructure and information on the important mechanisms of the CIPM MRA. It also provided participants with specific guidelines for comparisons and calibration and measurement capabilities (CMCs) in different technical areas and regional requirements of EURAMET on the operation of the CIPM MRA. Lecturers, including experts from EURAMET and BIPM staff members, shared their experience and gave personal perspectives on a range of topics.

Dr Graham Machin, from NPL (UK) and chair of EURAMET's TC for Thermometry, shared his personal experience on how to lead and organise committees to facilitate effective progress for the whole community, and how to identify and develop leaders through the TC. Graham noted that being a TC-Chair is a very responsible position and requires representation of an entire region's measurement specialists in a particular field. Participants greatly appreciated information about TC management, which is a difficult task, carried out voluntarily. With respect to this, Haris Memić, from IMBiH (Bosnia & Herzegovina), stated in his feedback that "Even if we already knew a lot about activities covered by EURAMET it was very useful to hear about the amount of work and time which has to be spent on chairing the Technical Committees, but on the other side also the enthusiasm which is needed to be efficient and effective to recruit other people by making and keeping them interested".

Steffen Rudtsch, from PTB (Germany), commented that "There were a lot of interesting solutions, worth adopting in other fields". This highlighted that although the course was aimed at TC-Chairs, some of the ideas and concepts presented will filter through to the Consultative Committees of CIPM to improve the effectiveness of their existing processes.

Participants also gained practical experience through group working sessions reflecting the content of the lectures. The first practical session was related to comparisons. Participants examined different questions and examples for the calculation of key comparison reference values and degrees of equivalence between national standards. In another practical session, participants reviewed real CMCs and drafted comments regarding the supporting technical evidence, quality assurances and formatting of the CMC spreadsheets. This session gave all participants 'hands-on' experience of how metrologists around the world can work together with the aim of ensuring the reliability of CMCs published in the BIPM key comparison database.

"This was the first joint training course organised by BIPM and EURAMET, and I am convinced that it is very beneficial for both organisations and the participants. I think we achieved our aim to prepare possible future TC leaders for their responsibilities within the CIPM MRA, giving them a sound understanding of its structure and mechanisms which is the basis to do the job effectively," said Wolfgang Schmid, EURAMET's Member Service Manager. "I appreciated the committed and valuable contributions from lecturers and participants, the lively and constructive discussions and the excellent atmosphere. On behalf of EURAMET I would like to express our sincerest thanks to BIPM for hosting this course and all their support. We are looking forward to continuing our collaboration in knowledge transfer and capacity building."

Overall, the success of the course relied on the participants' involvement in discussions and group working sessions to receive a broader understanding of all aspects of metrology, from policy setting to practical implementation of certain mechanisms, while taking into account the specific requirements of a particular metrology area and region.

BIPM and EURAMET would like to thank all participants for their active participation in the course and wish them all the best in their future engagement in the operation of the CIPM MRA processes and involvement in the further development of EURAMET.

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