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Calibration Glossary

Browse our glossary of calibration-related terminology.

Beamex / Dictionary

Combined standard uncertainty

The standard uncertainty of the result of a measurement, when that result is obtained from the values of a number of other quantities.

Commercial of the shelf software

Software com­mer­cially available, whose fitness for use is demon­strated by a broad spectrum of users.


For a laboratory, the demon­strated ability to perform the tests or cal­ib­ra­tions within the ac­cred­it­a­tion scope and to meet other criteria established by the ac­cred­it­a­tion body.

Confidence interval

A range of values that is expected to contain the true value of the parameter being evaluated with a specified level of confidence.

Correction (of error)

A correction is the value that is added to the raw result of a measurement to compensate for known or estimated systematic error or bias.

Corrective action

Corrective action is something done to correct a non­con­form­ance when it arises, including actions taken to prevent re­oc­cur­rence of the non­con­form­ance.

Coverage factor

A numerical factor used as a multiplier of the combined standard uncertainty in order to obtain an expanded uncertainty.


Non­ful­fill­ment of conditions and/or criteria for ac­cred­it­a­tion, sometimes referred to as a non­con­form­ance.

Departure value

A term used by a few calibration labor­at­or­ies to refer to bias, error or systematic error.


Acceptance of the competence of other national metrology institutes (NMI), ac­cred­it­a­tion bodies, and/or accredited or­gan­iz­a­tions in other countries as being essentially equal to the NMI, ac­cred­it­a­tion body, and/or accredited or­gan­iz­a­tions within the host country. 

Error (of measurement)

In metrology, error (or measurement error) is an estimate of the difference between the measured value and the probable true value of the object of the measurement.

Gage R&R

Gage re­peat­ab­il­ity and re­pro­du­cib­il­ity study


An acronym commonly used to identify the ISO Guide to the Expression of Uncertainty in Measurement.


Hysteresis is a common phenomenon in calibration, which occurs when the output of a measuring instrument or system depends not only on the current input value, but also on its past history. This means that the output value can be different depending on whether the input value is increasing or decreasing, and can exhibit a


The acronym IM&TE refers to inspection, measuring, and test equipment.

In­ter­lab­or­at­ory comparison

Or­gan­iz­a­tion, performance, and evaluation of tests or cal­ib­ra­tions on the same or similar items or materials by two or more labor­at­or­ies in accordance with pre­de­ter­mined conditions.

Internal audit

A systematic and documented process for obtaining audit evidence and evaluating it objectively to verify that a laboratory’s operations comply with the re­quire­ments of its quality system.

In­ter­na­tion­al Or­gan­iz­a­tion for Stand­ard­iz­a­tion (ISO)

An in­ter­na­tion­al non­gov­ern­ment­al or­gan­iz­a­tion chartered by the United Nations in 1947, with headquar­ters in Geneva, Switzerland.

In­ter­na­tion­al System of Units (SI)

A defined and coherent system of units adopted and used by in­ter­na­tion­al treaties.


The In­ter­na­tion­al Or­gan­iz­a­tion for Stand­ard­iz­a­tion