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Calibration Glossary

Browse our glossary of calibration-related terminology.

Beamex / Dictionary
Level of confidence

Defines an interval about the measurement result that encompasses a large fraction p of the probability distribution characterized by that result and its combined standard uncertainty, and p is the coverage probability or level of confidence of the interval

Life cycle

All phases in the life of the system from initial requirements until retirement including design, specification, programming, testing, installation, operation, and maintenance.

Management review

The planned, formal, periodic, and scheduled examination of the status and adequacy of the quality management system in relation to its quality policy and objectives by the organization’s top management.


A set of operations performed for the purpose of determining the value of a quantity

Measurement system

A measurement system is the set of equipment, conditions, people, methods, and other quantifiable factors that combine to determine the success of a measurement process. 


Metrology is the science and practice of measurement

Mobile operations

Operations that are independent of an established calibration laboratory facility. Mobile operations may include work from an office space, home, vehicle, or the use of a virtual office.

Natural (physical) constant

A natural constant is a fundamental value that is accepted by the scientific community as valid.

NCSL international

Formerly known as the National Conference of Standards Laboratories (NCSL). NCSL was formed in 1961 to “promote cooperative efforts for solving the common problems faced by measurement laboratories.


Offset is the difference between a nominal value (for an artifact) or a target value (for a process) and the actual measured value.

On-site operations

Operations that are based in or directly supported by an established calibration laboratory facility, but actually perform the calibration actions at customer locations.

Performance Test

A performance test (or performance verification) is the activity of verifying the performance of an item of measuring and test equipment to provide assurance that the instrument is capable of making correct measurements when it is properly used. 


A policy defines and sets out the basic objectives, goals, vision, or general management position on a specific topic


Precision is a property of a measuring system or instrument. Precision is a measure of the repeatability of a measuring system – how much agreement there is within a group of repeated measurements of the same quantity under the same conditions.

Preventive action

Preventive action is something done to prevent the possible future occurrence of a nonconformance, even though such an event has not yet happened.


A procedure describes a specific process for implementing all or a portion of a policy.

Process owner

The person responsible for the business process.

Proficiency testing

Determination of laboratory testing performance by means of interlaboratory comparisons.

Quality manual

The quality manual is the document that describes the quality management policy of an organization with respect to a specified conformance standard.

Random error

Random error is the result of a single measurement of a value, minus the mean of a large number of measurements of the same value.