Email outage from Saturday, September 30, 11 am, until Sunday, October 1, 8 pm (ET)

Annual maintenance work is taking place on our servers this weekend. This will have an impact on incoming and outgoing emails to the NRC, including on our website. Email service should resume immediately after the scheduled maintenance.

Ordering instrument calibration services

Turnaround time

Normal turnaround time for NRC calibration services varies from a few days to several weeks, depending on the type of service required and the workload of the group involved.

Scheduling arrangements

Prospective clients should discuss their requirements in advance with the appropriate NRC staff member. This advance communication can save costs by preventing unnecessary delays in the calibration process. It can clear up any questions and permit tentative scheduling. Some services are provided on a cyclical basis only during the year. In such cases, appointments should be made well in advance to ensure that the results are available when required.

Agreement for standard calibration services

Before shipping an item for calibration, you will be asked to complete and send a signed copy of NRC's "Agreement for Standard Calibration Services" or the custom agreement to an NRC staff member providing the service. By email with electronic signature or by fax is acceptable.

If you wish to order a calibration service, please contact our Business Office at

Note that fees for measurement and calibration services are subject to change. The fees for service quoted do not include shipping, insurance or the cost of a customs broker. The client must arrange and pay for these services separately.


Items for calibration should be shipped directly to the NRC staff member responsible for the requested service. Shipping costs are not included in the cost of calibration services. For safety reasons and in order to help us preserve the integrity of the item you are sending for calibration/measurement, we ask that you clearly write the NRC laboratory contact name and phone number on the outside of the parcel. Staff member contact information can be found on the Calibration services page for each metrological area, in the list at the top of the page. Deliveries should be scheduled between 8:30 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., Eastern Time, on normal business days.

The information below provides general guidelines on shipping. Refer also to the relevant section of these pages for additional guidelines on specific items.

  • Precision measuring instruments and standards must be carefully protected from mechanical shocks, vibration, and damage during shipment, and great care must be taken in packing for shipment. Before each item is packed, any binding posts should be tightened and any clamping devices should be switched to the "Clamp" or "Transit" position. Plugs and other small accessories should be enclosed in a small separate container attached to the equipment. Electrical standards that are oil-immersed must be emptied and drained prior to shipment. Each item should be wrapped in heavy paper or similar cover and sealed with gummed tape to exclude dust. Shipping boxes should be strong and those made of wood should have screw tops to avoid mechanical shocks caused by a hammer or nail puller.
  • Clean, fresh, resilient material should be used as the shock-absorbing medium, with a layer about 10 cm thick on all six sides of each instrument. Boxes containing delicate instruments should be marked "Fragile, Handle with Care." Those containing glass parts should additionally be marked "Glass." The client's name and address should be marked clearly and indelibly on the outside of the container and on the documentation.
  • Every effort is made to handle and repack instruments carefully at NRC. When possible, the return shipment is made in the original container. Incoming shipments should be prepaid and insured. The return shipment, including insurance at an approximate replacement value, may be prepaid or will be sent collect. The client should inform NRC if the return shipment is to be handled by a particular carrier. NRC will not assume liability for loss or damage to client equipment, unless such loss or damage results from negligence by NRC personnel.
  • Certain instruments and standards are notably fragile and in many cases should not be inverted. It is desirable that these be transported by messenger or, if shipped by commercial carrier, they must be clearly marked "This Side Up." Shipment of standard cells during very cold weather should be avoided because of the possible hazard from freezing.

NRC does not provide repair or adjustment services on instruments or standards. Simple repairs such as tightening of loose terminals may be undertaken provided that the instrument is not sealed, but it is expected that all instruments or standards submitted will have been inspected and repaired before submission. Instruments that are obviously in need of maintenance will be returned without calibration and a handling fee will be levied for the work completed.

Additional instructions for foreign clients

NRC may provide calibration services for clients located outside of Canada, subject to the availability of NRC resources. If the services are available in the requestor's country, the client may be asked to provide a written justification stating why NRC should provide this service. The foreign client should discuss the required service with the NRC staff member identified in the service listings.

If NRC accepts the request for service, the client will be informed in writing of the cost, in Canadian dollars (CAD), and will be given the name of the NRC staff member who will carry out the measurements.

If you wish to order a calibration service, please contact our Business Office at

Ship the item(s) according to the guidelines provided under "Shipping" in instructions for domestic clients, with the following additional requirements.

Before shipping the instrument or standard to the appropriate NRC laboratory, the client must prearrange with a customs broker for entry of the item into Canada, with prepaid transportation to and from the port of entry. If arrangements are made with a broker in the country of origin, that broker should have a Canadian customs broker in or near the port of entry who can arrange for entry of the item(s) and for transportation to NRC. The Canadian broker must also arrange for transportation of the item(s) to the port of exit after calibration or testing is complete.

New foreign clients may be asked to make a pre-payment, usually 50% of the projected cost, depending on this projected cost and the duration of the project.

When the calibration is complete, the client will be sent an invoice in Canadian dollars (CAD) that is payable within 30 days of the date of invoice. Make payment by cheque, money order or credit card to NRC for the full invoiced amount in Canadian dollars (CAD), drawn on a Canadian bank, and payable to the Receiver General for Canada, with reference to the NRC group/program/project providing the service.

Note that fees for measurement and calibration services are subject to change. The fees for service quoted do not include shipping, insurance or the cost of a customs broker. The client must arrange and pay for these services separately.