1. The Joint Committee

The Joint Committee for Guides in Metrology (hereafter referred to as the Joint Committee) is composed of broadly-based international organizations working in the field of metrology.

2. Terms of reference

The Joint Committee’s terms of reference are the following:

  • to develop and maintain, at the international level, guidance documents addressing the general metrological needs of science and technology, and to consider arrangements for their dissemination; in particular, the Joint Committee shall take responsibility for maintaining and up-dating the International vocabulary of basic and general terms in metrology (VIM) and the Guide to the expression of uncertainty in measurement (GUM) in their two versions (English and French);
  • to promote worldwide adoption and implementation of the results of its work;
  • to provide advice, when requested, on questions related to the implementation of its guidance documents; and
  • to be responsible for the overall monitoring of its work and its associated Working Groups.

3. Membership

The current membership of the Joint Committee:

the two inter-governmental organizations concerned with metrology:

  • the Bureau International des Poids et Mesures (BIPM)
    member since January 1997;
  • the Organisation Internationale de Métrologie Légale (OIML)
    member since January 1997;

the two principal international standardization organizations:

  • the International Organization for Standardization (ISO)
    member since January 1997;
  • the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC)
    member since January 1997;

three international unions:

  • the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC)
    member since January 1997;
  • the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics (IUPAP)
    member since January 1997;
  • the International Federation of Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine (IFCC)
    member since January 1997;

one international accreditation organization

  • the International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC)
    member since December 2005.

Membership of the Joint Committee is open to metrology and measurement-related international broadly-based organizations, at the discretion of the Joint Committee.

4. Committee Chair

The Chair of the Joint Committee shall be appointed by the Joint Committee from amongst its members for an initial term not exceeding three years, with unlimited possibility for three-year extensions of the appointment.
The Chair shall act in a neutral capacity, divesting itself from the member organization point of view.

5. Committee Secretariat

The Secretariat of the Joint Committee shall be allocated to one of the member organizations by mutual agreement of the Joint Committee.
The Secretariat is responsible for monitoring, reporting to the Joint Committee members and ensuring active progress of the work, and shall use its utmost endeavour to bring this work to an early and satisfactory conclusion.  These tasks shall be carried out as far as possible by correspondence.
The secretariat shall act in a neutral capacity, divesting itself from the member organization point of view.
If the member organization holding the Secretariat wishes to relinquish it, the member organization concerned shall inform the Chair, giving a minimum written notice of twelve months.

6. Meetings

The Joint Committee shall meet at such intervals as needs may determine, at the discretion of its Chair or at the request of a majority of its member organizations.

7. Working procedures

7.1 The Joint Committee

7.1.1 General

Each member organization shall be invited to appoint one representative to attend the meetings and to receive papers.
Each representative may be accompanied by a maximum of two experts.  It is the responsibility of the representative to make sure that the views expressed by these experts reflect the views of their organization(s).

7.1.2 Secretary

The general elements of the responsibilities of the Joint Committee secretary are committee management and general support, membership maintenance, reporting and advising, document management, meeting management and project management in liaison with the WG Convenors.

7.1.3 Working language

The working language of the Joint Committee is English.

7.1.4 Meeting of the Joint Committee

The meetings of the Joint Committee shall be organized by the Secretariat.
Meeting dates and venues shall be fixed by the Chairman and notice thereof shall be sent to the member organizations and representatives, by the Secretariat, at least two months prior to the meeting.
The Chairman shall prepare the agenda for circulation by the Secretariat to the member representatives at least one month prior to the meeting.
Documents for a meeting shall be circulated by the Secretariat to the member representatives at least two months prior to the meeting.  At the discretion of the Chairman, further documents may be accepted for discussion at the meeting.

7.1.5 Decisions of the Joint Committee

Decisions of the Joint Committee shall be by consensus, bearing in mind the following definition:
consensus:  General agreement characterized by the absence of sustained opposition to substantial issues by any important part of the concerned interests and by a process that involves seeking to take into account the views of all parties concerned and to reconcile any conflicting arguments.
Note: Consensus need not imply unanimity

Should an indicative vote be considered necessary by the Chairman, the decision shall be taken by unanimity of the member organizations and each member organization shall have one vote.  Such a vote may be organized by letter ballot, if necessary.

7.1.6 Guidance documents

Guidance documents shall be approved by consensus of the member organizations.  Such documents shall then be published in the name of all the member organizations and constitute recommendations of these organizations.

7.2 Working Groups (WG)

7.2.1 Setting-up

Following the circulation and review of proposals for new work, the Joint Committee may decide to establish a WG, led by a Convenor and comprising experts brought together to address specific tasks.
The WG Convenor shall be nominated by the Joint Committee at the time of the establishment of the WG, and be responsible for the management of its work programme, accountable for its productivity, and ensure membership maintenance.
The WG expert(s) shall act in their personal capacity, contributing on the basis of their own knowledge.  Each member organization shall be invited to appoint a maximum of three experts to a WG.

7.2.2 Calling of meetings

Notification of a meeting shall be sent by the Convenor to the WG members and to the Secretariat, preferably at least two months in advance of the meeting.
Arrangements for meetings shall be made by the Convenor.

7.2.3 Draft documents

It is the responsibility of the Convenor of the WG, in consultation with the Secretariat and, if necessary, the Chair of the Joint Committee, to judge whether to submit a draft document for circulation at the level of the Joint Committee, either for comments or for approval.

7.2.4 Reporting

The Convenor will provide the Joint Committee secretariat with a report for circulation to the Joint Committee, detailing the progression of the WG's programme of work, including proposals regarding new work.  The Joint Committee shall review and approve these proposals based on the Convenor’s assessment of need.  The Joint Committee may also request WGs to undertake additional specific tasks.

Reports can be periodic, but should follow official WG meetings


Annex A
JCGM-developed 'Guidance' documents

A1 Status
A.1.1 Guidance documents prepared as a result of the Joint Committee’s work have no mandatory status by themselves.

Guidance documents aim primarily at harmonizing worldwide current metrological practices and disseminating scientific and technological knowledge.  They constitute recommendations that member organizations are strongly encouraged to implement.

A.2 Document production and publication
A.2.1 JCGM Guidance documents are prepared in LaTeX or Word, from which PDF versions, including hyperlinks, can be readily produced. The final version of a document, approved by the member organizations, constitutes an ‘official version’, owned by the JCGM.
A.2.2 JCGM official documents are distributed in PDF format to member organizations for publication according to paragraph 7.1.6 of the Charter. Member organizations may publish JCGM documents in PDF format or as paper copies against payment of for free taking into account the provisions of paragraph A.2.4.
A.2.3 Maintaining the LaTeX or Word files and the production of PDF versions from these files is the responsibility of the JCGM Working Group that drafted the document. This applies both to ‘official versions’ of JCGM documents and member organization specific publications of JCGM documents in case the LaTeX or Word files are used to prepare a member organization specific publication.

The publication of a JCGM document by a member organization shall be an exact reproduction of the ‘official version’ with the following additions:

A.2.4.1 On the cover page the logo, acronym and title of the member organization shall be added. Alternatively, a separate cover page may be added before the JCGM cover page with, as a minimum, the member organization’s logo, acronym and title, the title of the publication and the JCGM reference number.

A.2.4.2 Optionally, the following may be added:
- a member organization specific copyright page,
- a member organization specific foreword,
- a table of correspondence between the bibliographic references in the official version and corresponding publications of the member organization,
- additional information specific to the member organization.

A.3 Copyright owner
A.3.1 Copyright of any JCGM document is shared jointly by the JCGM's member organizations.
A.3.2 JCGM documents published in accordance with paragraph A.2.4 become new publications for which the member organization concerned is the copyright owner. The member organization concerned shall not be requested to pay any royalties to the JCGM or to its member organizations.
A.4 Implementation of Guidance documents by member organizations
A.4.1 Dissemination of Guidance documents is the responsibility of the member organizations, each within its respective sphere of competence.
A.4.2 When a member organization decides to implement a Guidance document prepared by the Joint Committee (see Joint Committee Charter, subclause 7.1.6), it has the right to do so in accordance with its own internal rules and procedures.
A.5 Financial arrangements
A.5.1 Any financial arrangements regarding the publication and distribution of Guidance documents in whatever formats shall be decided by common agreement between the member organizations.
A.5.2 The provision in A.5.1 does not apply to documents processed in accordance to A.3.2.

[version 10 December 2009]

BIPM - Bureau International des Poids et Mesures ILAC - International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation OIML - Organisation Internationale de Métrologie Légale IEC - International Electrotechnical Commission IFCC - International Federation of Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine ISO - International Organization for Standardization IUPAP - International Union of Pure and Applied Physics IUPAC - International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry
Last modified: 2018-05-18