Ensuring efficient and effective review of the quality systems of SIM NMIs to ensure conformance with the expectations of the CIPM MRA and to serve other quality system approval needs of SIM NMIs.
Quality System Review Guidelines
The SIM QSTF must satisfy itself that, through its review process, the quality management system operated by the NMI or DI is effective and conforms with the requirements of the CIPM MRA, including the applicable requirements of ISO/IEC 17025, ISO 17034, etc.
The SIM QSTF requires on-site peer reviews and may request additional review be undertaken, in order that the NMI or DI may demonstrate confidence in their ability to deliver their claimed CMCs.
Quality systems that have been approved must be fully re-evaluated and re-approved within five years.
QSTF-00 (Procedure for Review and Approval Quality Management Systems) / Version 1.2; Approved on 5 May 2023
QSTF-01 (Submission Template) [required] / Version 2.0; Approved on 11 September 2020
QSTF-02 (Presentation Template) [optional] / Version 1.0; Approved on 14 February 2013
QSTF-03 (Checklist for QMS Submission) [required] / Version 3.0; Approved on 11 September 2020
QSTF-04 (Non-conformity Template) [optional] / Version 1.0; Approved on 14 February 2013
QSTF-05 (New CMC for existing QMS) [optional] / Version 2.0; Approved on 2 April 2014
QSTF-06 (SIM QSTF Transition Policy and Plan – ISO/IEC 17025:2017 and ISO 17034:2016) / Version 2.0; Approved on 7 August 2020 [RETIRED]
QSTF-07 (SIM QSTF Electronic Ballots) / Version 1.0; Approved on 11 July 2019
SIM-09 – Procedure for Review of the Quality Management System of National Metrology Institutes and Designated Institutes / Version 11.0; Approved by the SIM Council on 4 April 2017
Guidelines for the Submission of Information to the SIM QSTF for the Review of Quality Management Systems
Guidance for Performing and Conducting Remote Assessments
Recent actions by the JCRB affecting RMO-approved Quality Systems
Resolution JCRB/45-1 (2022)
The JCRB noted that the RMOs have progressed successfully with a mix of in-person, online and hybrid periodic reviews of quality management systems of the institutes in their regions. The JCRB encouraged the RMOs to further develop these review routes and keep to the 5-year review period. Exceptionally, where this is not possible, they may extend the validity of these QMSs subject to a case-by-case evaluation by the RMO concerned. This extension of validity shall be for a period not exceeding one year. The power to grant such extensions will be re-evaluated at the time of the 46th meeting of the JCRB.
Virtual Meetings of the QSTF
SIM Council Resolution 036/2021
The SIM Council extends the authority of the QSTF to hold meetings virtually, temporarily lifting restrictions outlined in Section 5.3 of SIM-09. This approval expires upon ratification and approval by the Uruguayan Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Version 02 of the SIM Bylaws (anticipated adoption in 2022).
The SIM QSTF is composed of 16 voting members (from the eight (8) Member States and the eight (8) Associates of the CGPM). Voting members to the SIM QSTF are nominated by an NMI that is both a SIM member and a signatory to the CIPM MRA.
The SIM QSTF meetings are generally open to observers from all SIM members, representatives from other RMOs, and representatives from other metrology related organizations. On occasion, the QSTF Chair may declare part of the meeting closed allowing QSTF delegates to discuss internal QSTF matters and formulate policy.
Information distributed to the QSTF members in support of QMS reviews is considered confidential.
The International Committee for Weights and Measures (CIPM) Mutual Recognition Arrangement (MRA) requires that signatory National Metrology Institutes (NMIs) and Designated Institutes (DIs) establish and maintain a quality system (QS), also referred as a quality management system (QMS).
It is the responsibility of SIM to review the QMSs operated by its member NMIs and DIs and to report on their acceptance to the Joint Committee of the Regional Metrology Organizations and the BIPM (JCRB). The JCRB in turn uses this process to help build confidence among the Regional Metrology Organizations (RMOs) by establishing transparent QMS review guidelines, which are mutually acceptable among all RMOs.
The SIM General Assembly established the SIM Quality System Task Force (QSTF) to meet the requirement that SIM review all member quality systems by passing the following Council Resolution in 2005:
Resolution CR04/05: A task force will be set up to review QS implementations in SIM members for the purpose of the CIPM MRA, which will be formed by CIPM-MRA signatories. The chairperson of the QSTF will be appointed by the Council.
The SIM bylaws state the responsibility and membership of the SIM QSTF.
- The SIM QSTF is responsible for reviewing and approving the quality management system(s) of any SIM member or associate upon request, even non-signatories of the MRA;
- A meeting of the QSTF to review the QMS of NMIs will be held at least once a year;
- The meeting will be open to all SIM members and observers from other RMOs, and will provide the opportunity for discussion and comments;
- SIM QSTF decisions will be made by the representatives of the SIM signatories to the CIPM MRA;
- The QSTF will assess whether or not the quality management system of each NMI conforms with the requirements of the CIPM MRA;
- The SIM QSTF approval is required prior to submission of CMC claims to the JCRB.
Additional information is available on the NIST hosted page:
Sally Bruce, Chair, QSTF
Isabelle Amen, Deputy Chair, QSTF
Andrew Conn, Secretariat, QSTF