Unit of competency details

MSL904001 - Perform standard calibrations (Release 1)


Usage recommendation:
Supersedes and is equivalent to MSL904001A - Perform standard calibrationsSupersedes and is equivalent to MSL904001A Perform standard calibrations 29/Feb/2016
Is superseded by and equivalent to MSL904002 - Perform standard calibrationsFoundation skills information added. Range of conditions removed. Assessment requirements amended. Equivalent outcome. 19/Jul/2018

Release Status:
ReleaseRelease date
1 1 (this release) 01/Mar/2016

Training packages that include this unit

CodeTitleSort Table listing Training packages that include this unit by the Title columnRelease
PPM - Pulp & Paper Manufacturing Industry Training PackagePulp & Paper Manufacturing Industry Training Package 1.0 
MSS - SustainabilitySustainability 1.0 
MSL - Laboratory OperationsLaboratory Operations 1.0 
AMP - Australian Meat Processing Training PackageAustralian Meat Processing Training Package 2.0-3.0 
AHC - Agriculture, Horticulture and Conservation and Land Management Training PackageAgriculture, Horticulture and Conservation and Land Management Training Package 1.0-3.0 

Qualifications that include this unit

CodeTitleSort Table listing Qualifications that include this unit by the Title columnRelease
PPM40216 - Certificate IV in Papermaking OperationsCertificate IV in Papermaking Operations 
PPM40116 - Certificate IV in Pulping OperationsCertificate IV in Pulping Operations 
PPM30216 - Certificate III in Papermaking OperationsCertificate III in Papermaking Operations 
PPM30116 - Certificate III in Pulping OperationsCertificate III in Pulping Operations 
PPM20216 - Certificate II in Papermaking OperationsCertificate II in Papermaking Operations 
PPM20116 - Certificate II in Pulping OperationsCertificate II in Pulping Operations 
MSS50216 - Diploma of Environmental Monitoring and TechnologyDiploma of Environmental Monitoring and Technology 
MSS40216 - Certificate IV in Environmental Monitoring and TechnologyCertificate IV in Environmental Monitoring and Technology 
MSL60116 - Advanced Diploma of Laboratory OperationsAdvanced Diploma of Laboratory Operations 
MSL50116 - Diploma of Laboratory TechnologyDiploma of Laboratory Technology 
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SchemeCodeClassification value
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 019909 Laboratory Technology  

Classification history

SchemeCodeClassification valueStart dateEnd date
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 019909 Laboratory Technology  09/Aug/2016 
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Unit Of competency

Modification History

Release 1. Supersedes and is equivalent to MSL904001A Perform standard calibrations


This unit of competency covers the ability to calibrate test and measurement equipment in accordance with standard calibration procedures and documented test methods. These procedures/methods specify all associated reference standards, materials, equipment and methods to be used and the required parameters or quantities and ranges to be tested, including the criteria for rejection or approval.

This unit of competency is applicable to laboratory and calibration technicians who carry out tests and/or calibrations using standard calibration methods in first, second and third party laboratories, and laboratories where testing and/or calibration forms part of inspection or product certification. Personnel are not permitted to deviate from explicit instructions in any manner, modify the procedure, nor substitute alternative equipment. They work under limited supervision and results of their work are interpreted and checked by the laboratory supervisor, quality inspector or designated signatory.

While no specific licensing or certification requirements apply to this unit at the time of publication, laboratory operations are governed by relevant legislation, regulations and/or external accreditation requirements. Local requirements should be checked.

Pre-requisite Unit


Competency Field


Unit Sector

Elements and Performance Criteria

Elements describe the essential outcomes.

Performance criteria describe the performance needed to demonstrate achievement of the element.


Prepare items for calibration 


Select the authorised calibration procedure in accordance with workplace procedures


Identify hazards and use appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE), safety equipment and procedures


Confirm all measuring equipment meets the laboratory's specification requirements and complies fully with the calibration procedure


Assemble and set up specified reference standards and associated equipment prior to testing


Verify performance of reference standards and measuring equipment prior to use and adjust or calibrate as necessary


Identify and minimise potential sources of measurement error


Perform calibration 


Perform individual tests without variance according to the documented procedure to ensure repeatability of measurement


Confirm readings are the result of a valid measurement and record data as required (as-found or before adjustment)


Adjust device under test to bring readings within specification and record data (as-left or after adjustment) where required


Analyse resulting test data to detect trends or inconsistencies that would significantly affect the accuracy or validity of test results


Seek appropriate advice when interpretation of results is outside authorised scope of approval


Document results 


Estimate and document uncertainty of measurement in accordance with workplace procedures, where required


Document compliance/non-compliance with test requirements and/or specifications


Record the results of each test/calibration accurately, unambiguously and objectively


Ensure confidentiality of workplace information


Finalise calibration 


Prepare and issue a final report on the job/item detailing testing carried out, traceability, statement of compliance and relevant information as required


Report any non-compliance and verify next course of action with supervisor


Attach calibration labels, equipment stickers, quality control tags and tamper resistant seals as required in workplace procedures


Store test equipment/measurement standards and results in accordance with workplace procedures

Foundation Skills

This section describes those language, literacy, numeracy and employment skills that are essential to performance.

Foundation skills essential to performance are explicit in the performance criteria of this unit of competency.

Range of Conditions

This field allows for different work environments and conditions that may affect performance. Essential operating conditions that may be present (depending on the work situation, needs of the candidate, accessibility of the item, and local industry and regional contexts) are included.

Standards, codes, procedures and/or workplace requirements 

Standards, codes, procedures and/or workplace procedures include the current version of one or more of:

  • Australian and international standards and codes covering:
  • general requirements for the competence of testing and calibration laboratories, laboratory safety, quality and environmental management
  • accuracy of measurement methods and results, expression of uncertainty (GUM), quantifying uncertainty in analytical measurement, quality assurance of measurement equipment
  • national work health and safety (WHS) standards and codes of practice
  • registration/licensing and/or National Association of Testing Authorities (NATA) accreditation requirements
  • safety requirements for equipment, materials or products; material safety data sheets (MSDS); and incident and accident/injury reports
  • standard operating procedures (SOPs), recording and reporting procedures
  • quality manuals, equipment and operating/technical manuals
  • test methods and calibration procedures (validated and authorised)
  • test methods and calibration procedures published by international, national or regional standards, reputable technical organisations, scientific texts or journals and equipment manufacturers
  • laboratory layout, work flows and schedules

Standard calibrations 

Standard calibrations include, but are not limited to, testing and/or calibrating the following equipment and reference materials using standard methods and procedures:

  • test equipment, such as anemometers, balances, barometers, callipers, environmental chambers, hygrometers, manometers, masses, micrometers, pressure equipment, spectrophotometers, tape measures, rules, temperature (digital) indicating systems, thermometers, thermocouples, timing devices, vibration analysis equipment and weighing instruments
  • electrical reference standards, such as air-lines, analogue meters, attenuators, bridges-manual balance, capacitors, DC voltage references, digital instruments (calibrators, DMMs, electronic transfer standards), inductors, instrument and ratio transformers, instrument transformer test sets, potentiometers, resistors, radio frequency (RF) power meters, RF thermistor mounts and thermal converters, shunts, time interval and frequency standards, transfer standards AC-DC, voltage dividers, volt ratio boxes and watt-hour references
  • working standards, instruments and testing equipment, such as electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) test equipment, field strength meters, flammability test equipment, gauges/test fingers/test pins, hipot testers, impact hammers, impulse testers, instrument calibrators, network analysers, signal generators and spectrum and harmonic analysers


Hazards include, but are not limited to, one or more of:

  • electric shock
  • disturbance or interruption of services
  • manual handling of heavy equipment boxes
  • sources of electromagnetic radiation (lasers and RF generators/transmitters)
  • fluids under pressure
  • heat sources, such as ovens

Safety procedures  

Safety procedures include, but are not limited, to one or more of:

  • ensuring access to service shut-off points
  • use of PPE, such as hearing protection, gloves, safety glasses and coveralls
  • handling and storing hazardous materials and equipment in accordance with labels, MSDS, manufacturer's instructions, and workplace procedures and regulations
  • regular cleaning of equipment and work areas

Reference materials  

Reference materials include, but are not limited to, one or more of:

  • colour standards
  • graded granular materials
  • hardness blocks

WHS and environmental management requirements  

WHS and environmental management requirements include:

·  complying with WHS and environmental management requirements at all times, which may be imposed through state/territory or federal legislation. These requirements must not be compromised at any time

·  applying standard precautions relating to the potentially hazardous nature of samples

  • accessing and applying current industry understanding of infection control issued by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) and State and Territory Departments of Health, where relevant

Unit Mapping Information

Release 1. Supersedes and is equivalent to MSL904001A Perform standard calibrations


Companion Volume implementation guides are found in VETNet - https://vetnet.education.gov.au/Pages/TrainingDocs.aspx?q=5c63a03b-4a6b-4ae5-9560-1e3c5f462baa


Assessment requirements

Modification History

Release 1. Supersedes and is equivalent to MSL904001A Perform standard calibrations

Performance Evidence

Evidence of competence in this unit must satisfy all of the requirements of the elements and performance criteria, and include demonstration of:

  • selecting and applying appropriate test methods and calibration procedures
  • safely calibrating test and measurement equipment in accordance with standard calibration procedures and documented test methods on at least two (2) occasions
  • maintaining close attention to all relevant procedures, regulatory requirements and the accuracy and precision of measurement to ensure the quality and integrity of test/calibration results
  • critically examining each calibration step to ensure repeatability and validity of data
  • using calibration and correction charts
  • performing calculations to give results in appropriate accuracy, precision and units
  • using statistical analysis (means, ranges and standard deviations) and estimation of uncertainty of measurement, where required (can use software)
  • preparing test/calibration documentation that is accurate and complies with requirements
  • recognising problems or departures in systems and documentation and initiating actions to prevent or minimise them
  • recognising and reporting opportunities for improvements.

Knowledge Evidence

Must provide evidence that demonstrates knowledge of:

  • purpose of metrology and calibration, including common terminology, concepts, principles, procedures and applications
  • National Association of Testing Authority's (NATA) and National Measurement Institute's (NMI) role in the measurement and testing system in Australia
  • traceability, including legal requirements for traceability
  • requirements for the competence of testing and calibration laboratories (e.g. AS ISO/IEC 17025) as they affect job role and responsibilities
  • hierarchy and appropriate selection of reference materials and instruments
  • non-conformance/non-compliance procedures and protocols associated with equipment, reference material and calibration procedures
  • troubleshooting procedures for equipment and test methods
  • reporting procedures and legislative requirements
  • handling, transport, storage and operation of reference and working standards
  • work health and safety (WHS) and laboratory environmental control requirements.

Additional knowledge requirements relevant to the workplace context that apply for different calibration fields must be assessed, including testing and calibration conducted in the following fields:

  • acoustic and vibration measurement
  • chemical testing
  • construction materials testing
  • electrical testing
  • heat and temperature measurement
  • mechanical testing
  • metrology
  • non-destructive testing
  • optics and radiometry
  • pressure measurement.

Assessment Conditions

  • Judgement of competence must be based on holistic assessment of the evidence. Assessment methods must confirm consistency of performance over time, rather than a single assessment event.
  • This unit of competency is to be assessed in the workplace or a simulated workplace environment. A simulated workplace environment must reflect realistic operational workplace conditions that cover all aspects of workplace performance, including the environment, task skills, task management skills, contingency management skills and job role environment skills.
  • Foundation skills are integral to competent performance of the unit and should not be assessed separately.
  • Assessment processes and techniques must be appropriate to the language, literacy and numeracy requirements of the work being performed and the needs of the candidate.
  • Knowledge evidence may be collected concurrently with performance evidence (provided a record is kept) or through an independent process, such as workbooks, written assessments or interviews (provided a record is kept).
  • This unit of competency may be assessed with:
  • MSL924001 Process and interpret data
  • relevant MSL974000 series unit/s of competency
  • relevant MSL975000 series unit/s of competency
  • Holistic assessment methods include:
  • review of calibration results, uncertainty calculations and workplace documentation completed by the candidate
  • feedback from supervisors and/or customers regarding quality of calibration services provided by the candidate
  • observation of the candidate performing standard calibrations
  • oral or written questioning to check required knowledge of standard calibration procedures.
  • Access is required to instruments, equipment, materials, workplace documentation, procedures and specifications associated with this unit, including, but not limited to:
  • specialised calibration/test equipment, reference standards and laboratory facilities
  • calibration methods, procedures and equipment specifications
  • workplace quality manual and procedures.
  • Assessors must satisfy the assessor competency requirements that are in place at the time of the assessment as set by the VET regulator.
  • The assessor must demonstrate both technical competence and currency.
  • Technical competence can be demonstrated through:
  • relevant VET or other qualification/Statement of Attainment AND/OR
  • relevant workplace experience
  • Currency can be demonstrated through:
  • performing the competency being assessed as part of current employment OR
  • having consulted with a laboratory about performing the competency being assessed within the last twelve months.


Companion Volume implementation guides are found in VETNet - https://vetnet.education.gov.au/Pages/TrainingDocs.aspx?q=5c63a03b-4a6b-4ae5-9560-1e3c5f462baa