Unit of competency details

MSL905001 - Perform non-standard calibrations (Release 1)


Usage recommendation:
Supersedes and is equivalent to MSL905001A - Perform non-standard calibrationsSupersedes and is equivalent to MSL905001A Perform non-standard calibrations 29/Feb/2016
Is superseded by and equivalent to MSL905004 - Perform non-standard calibrationsFoundation skills information added.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


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 MSL905001A Perform non-standard calibrations


This unit of competency covers the ability to recognise non-conforming calibration work, research and select the most appropriate test method or calibration procedure for a given measurement request, and then conduct the calibration. It also covers the ability to modify and revise existing procedures or substitute alternative instruments and measurement standards, when necessary.

This unit of competency is applicable to calibration technicians/specialists who carry out calibrations in first, second and third party laboratories, and laboratories where testing and/or calibration forms part of inspection or product certification. They work with limited guidance and results of their work are checked by the laboratory manager, quality inspector or designated signatory.

The unit requires personnel to use a wide variety of precision measuring equipment and standards and cope with deviations from the explicit procedural instructions detailed in standard procedures and work instructions. When deviations do occur, each case must be documented, technically justified, authorised and accepted by the client.

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


Perform standard calibrations

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.


Select the appropriate calibration procedure 


Identify non-conforming calibration tasks and requests and analyse their significance


Review the authorised procedure and establish whether it is appropriate for the test, as required


Research an alternative or adapt an existing procedure to satisfy the test specification requirements, if required


Confirm that available resources meet all the requirements of the calibration procedure


Obtain authorisation prior to substituting equipment, changing or deviating from the specified procedure


Document and validate any authorised changes or deviations in accordance with workplace procedures


Prepare items for calibration 


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


Assemble and set up 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 and document each step in the calibration procedure to ensure repeatability of measurement


Critically analyse readings to confirm they 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 tolerance and record results (as-left or after adjustment) if 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 result interpretation is outside authorised scope of approval


Document results 


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


Estimate and document uncertainty of measurement in accordance with workplace procedures


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


Ensure confidentiality of workplace information


Finalise calibration 


Prepare and issue a final report for the job/item detailing testing carried out, statement of compliance and all other required information


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


Report all changes and deviations that may have a significant influence on the test


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, 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

Non-standard calibrations  

Non-standard calibrations involve detecting and dealing with non-conforming work associated with the testing and/or calibrating of equipment, including but not limited to:

  • common 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

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 MSL905001A Perform non-standard calibrations


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


Assessment requirements

Modification History

Release 1. Supersedes and is equivalent to MSL905001A Perform non-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:

  • recognising non-conforming calibration tasks and requests and assessing their significance
  • researching and selecting the most appropriate test method or calibration procedure for a given measurement request and conducting the calibration
  • modifying and revising existing procedures or substituting alternative instruments and measurement standards
  • safely performing non-standard calibrations of test and measurement equipment in accordance with workplace procedures on at least two (2) occasions
  • quantifying the potential or actual impact of a wide range of test/environmental/equipment influences on data quality
  • maintaining close attention to all relevant safety 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 calculation procedures to give results in appropriate accuracy, precision and units
  • using methods for statistical analysis (means, ranges and standard deviations) and estimation of uncertainty of measurement (can use software)
  • preparing test/calibration documentation that is accurate and complies with requirements
  • explaining complex calibration procedures to clients and clarifying requirements and deviations
  • recognising and reporting opportunities for improvements.

Knowledge Evidence

Must provide evidence that demonstrates knowledge of:

  • requirements for the competence of testing and calibration laboratories (e.g. AS ISO/IEC 17025) as they affect job role and responsibilities
  • limits of authority and procedures for changing or deviating from standard calibration methods and procedures
  • structure and terminology used in standard calibration methods, procedures, requests and instructions
  • current calibration methods, procedures and technology applications used in the laboratory
  • implications of changing or deviating from standard calibration procedures
  • equipment specifications and limitations and the implications of equipment substitution
  • hierarchy of reference materials
  • handling, transport, storage and operation requirements of reference and working standards
  • equipment and testing method troubleshooting procedures
  • reporting procedures and legislative requirements
  • workplace and/or legal traceability requirements
  • 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 testing.

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 or through an independent process, such as workbooks, written assessments or interviews (provided a record is kept in each case).
  • This unit of competency may be assessed with:
  • MSL925001 Analyse data and report results
  • MSL925002 Analyse measurements and estimate uncertainties
  • Holistic assessment methods include:
  • review of non-standard calibration results, uncertainty calculations and documentation completed by the candidate
  • feedback from supervisors and/or customers regarding quality of calibration services provided by the candidate
  • observation of the candidate conducting non-standard calibrations
  • oral or written questioning to check required knowledge of non-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 materials 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.gov.au/Pages/TrainingDocs.aspx?q=5c63a03b-4a6b-4ae5-9560-1e3c5f462baa