he National Conference on Weights and Measures
(NCWM) recently developed a professional certi;-
cation program that aims to boost the salaries and
retention of weights and measures inspectors. These inspec-
tors are responsible for motor fuel quality in many states.
In 39 of the 50 states, weights and measures authority lies
within the state departments of agriculture. These departments also regulate food safety, dairies, pesticides, feeds,
fertilizers and more.
The job of a weights and measures inspector is no less demanding or technical than those of inspectors in other programs, but
weights and measures inspectors usually get paid less because the
position does not require professional certi;cation or licensure.
The lower pay in most jurisdictions hinders employee
retention and decreases the ef;ciency and effectiveness of the
weights and measures programs.
Weights and measures inspectors share a dif;culty with
petroleum industry service technicians: Transitioning a new
hire to the level of expertise necessary to carry out the job’s
responsibilities is expensive.
INSPEC TOR EXPERTISE
The knowledge base and skill set required of an average
weights and measures inspector is vast.
Consider the speci;cations, tolerances and other technical requirements for weighing and measuring devices
according to the National Institute of Standards and
Technology (NIST) Handbook 44.
An inspector also must have a command of laws and
regulations in NIST Handbook 130, such as method of sale of
commodities, package and labeling requirements, price scanner
inspections and the National Type Evaluation Program (NTEP).
Then there are the complex procedures for checking the
net contents of packaged goods for consumer and noncon-sumer products as found in NIST Handbook 133.
An inspector also must grasp state statutes, rules and regulations, policies, law enforcement, investigation techniques,
people skills, common sense and the industries being regulated.
Few weights and measures of;cials specialize in a single
enforcement area, so inspectors must gain expertise in all
areas. This occurs incrementally.
QUALITY | VALUE | SERVICE
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