International Committee for Weights and Measures

The International Committee for Weights and Measures (French: Comité international des poids et mesures (CIPM)) consists of eighteen persons, each of a different nationality elected by the General Conference on Weights and Measures (CGPM) whose principal task is to promote worldwide uniformity in units of measurement by taking direct action or by submitting proposals to the CGPM.

The CIPM meets every year (since 2011 in two sessions per year) at the Pavilion de Breteuil where, among other matters, it discusses reports presented to it by its Consultative Committees. Reports of the meetings of the CGPM, the CIPM, and all the Consultative Committees, are published by the BIPM.


The secretariat is based at Sèvres, Hauts-de-Seine, France.

In 1999 the CIPM has established the CIPM Arrangement de reconnaissance mutuelle (Mutual Recognition Arrangement, MRA) which serves as the framework for the mutual acceptance of national measurement standards and for recognition of the validity of calibration and measurement certificates issued by national metrology institutes.

A recent focus area of the CIPM has been the revision[1] of the SI.

Consultative committees

The CIPM has set up a number of consultative committees (CC) to assist it in its work. These committees are under the authority of the CIPM. The president of each committee, who is expected to take the chair at CC meetings, is usually a member of the CIPM. Apart from the CCU, membership of a CC is open to National Metrology Institutes (NMIs) of Member States that are recognized internationally as most expert in the field.[2] NMIs from Member States that are active in the field, but lack the expertise to become Members, are able to attend CC meetings as observers. [3]

These committees are:[2]

The CCU's role is to advise on matters related to the development of the SI and the preparation of the SI brochure.[2] It has liaison with other international bodies such as International Organization for Standardization (ISO), International Astronomical Union (IAU), International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) and International Union of Pure and Applied Physics (IUPAP).[Note 1]

Major reports

Official reports of the CIPM include[4]:

  • Reports of CIPM meetings (Procès-Verbaux) (CIPM Minutes)
  • Annual Report to Governments on the financial and administrative situation of the BIPM
  • Notification of the contributive parts of the Contracting States
  • Convocation to meetings of the CGPM
  • Report of the President of the CIPM to the CGPM

From time to time the CIPM has been charged by the CGPM to undertake major investigations related to activities affecting the CGPM or the BIPM. Reports produced include:[5]

The Blevin Report

The Blevin Report, published in 1998, examined the state of worldwide metrology.[6] The report originated from a resolution passed at the 20th CGPM (October 1995) which committed the CIPM to

to study and report on the long-term national and international needs relating to metrology, the appropriate international collaborations and the unique role of the BIPM to meet these needs, and the financial and other commitments that will be required from the Member States in the coming decades.

The report identified, amongst other things, a need for closer cooperation between the BIPM and other organisations such as International Organization of Legal Metrology (OIML) and International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC) with clearly defined boundaries and interfaces between the organisations. Another major finding was the need for cooperation between accreditation laboratories and the need to involve developing countries in the world of metrology.

The Kaarls Report

The Kaarls Report[7] published in 2003 examined the role of the BIPM in the evolving needs for metrology in trade, industry and society.

SI Brochure

The CIPM has responsibility for commissioning the SI brochure, which is the formal definition of the International system of units. The brochure is produced by the CCU in conjunction with a number of other international organisations. Initially the brochure was only in French – the official language of the metre convention, but recent versions have been published simultaneously in both English and French, with the French text being the official text. The 6th edition was published in 1991,[8] the 7th edition was published in 1998, and the 8th in 2006.[9]

See also


  1. This is an incomplete list.


  1. "BIPM - measurement units". Retrieved 2018-04-26.
  2. "Criteria for membership of a Consultative Committee". Bureau International des Poids et Mesures. Archived from the original on 17 April 2012. Retrieved 25 September 2012.
  3. "BIPM - CIPM Outcomes". Retrieved 2018-12-11.
  4. "BIPM - official reports". Retrieved 2018-04-26.
  5. "CIPM: International Committee for Weights and Measures". Bureau International des Poids et Mesures. Retrieved 14 March 2013.
  6. Kovalevsky, J; Blevin, WR (March 1998). National and international needs relating to metrology : International collaborations and the role of the BIPM. Sèvres, France: Intergovernmental Organization of the Convention of the Metre. ISBN 92-822-2152-0. Retrieved 14 March 2013.
  7. Kovalevsky, J; Kaarls, R (April 2003). Evolving Needs for Metrology in Trade, Industry and Society and the Role of the BIPM (PDF). Sèvres, France: Intergovernmental Organization of the Convention of the Metre. ISBN 92-822-2212-8. Retrieved 14 March 2013.
  8. Taylor, Barry N., ed. (February 1991). "The International System of Units (SI): Approved translation of the sixth edition (1991) of the International Bureau of Weights and Measures publication Le Système International d'Unités (SI)" (PDF). NIST. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  9. International Bureau of Weights and Measures (2006), The International System of Units (SI) (PDF) (8th ed.), p. 102, ISBN 92-822-2213-6, archived (PDF) from the original on 2017-08-14
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