Turning calibration certificates digital

Kaj Nyholm

Today, the vast majority of calibration certificates are issued on paper. Recently, VTT MIKES and a few other National Metrology Institutes have started to issue digital versions of calibration certificates in the form of signed PDF/A documents.

However, without an internationally harmonised solution for digital calibration certificates, these national solutions remain inaccessible for foreign customers, even if in compliance with EU regulations. Unfortunately, there is no single legal solution that allows digital signatures to be created so that they are legally binding worldwide. On the other hand, there appear to be largely universal technical standards (ITU-T X.509) for digital signatures and stamps.

VTT MIKES is involved in several initiatives aiming to establish the foundation for a worldwide cross-border adoption of digital calibration certificates (DCCs) in metrology and industry. To achieve this, the minimum requirements for DCC regarding content need to be specified. Well-defined interfaces and software infrastructure will then allow all DCC operations to be undertaken in a reliable, automated, and secure manner. The focus is on DCCs with machine interpretable information about the calibration in such a way that it can be utilised for digital workflows in measurement science, calibration, conformity assessment and industry.

Example of a digitally signed calibration certificate of VTT MIKES.
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