Our statutory task

The Minister of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy has mandated VSL to maintain and manage the national measurement standards and rules for quantities, as established by order in council.

Our statutory task

The Metrology Act

In the Netherlands, the rules on units of measurement and the marketing and use of measuring instruments are laid down in the Metrology Act Metrologiewet (2006). These include the requirements that VSL must meet as regards its set-up, organisation, personnel and equipment, as well as those relating to the maintenance and management of the national measurement standard for quantities.

Supervision

The Board of Experts (Raad van Deskundigen (RvD)) ensures that VSL adheres to its statutory duties. A communication protocol between VSL, the Minister of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy and the RvD ensures clear communication among them and proper fulfilment of everyone’s role. The roles, responsibilities and powers of these three parties are also set out in a so-called TVB-matrix that has been submitted to the Dutch House of Representatives. See the communication protocol here

VSL’s articles of association

A company’s articles of association are its internal rules. VSL’s articles of association define aspects of the company, such as object, scope and structure. See the communication protocol here

Measurement Standards Management Agreement

The manner in which VSL performs its duties is defined in the annual “Measurement Standards Management Agreement” (Overeenkomst betreffende het meetstandaardenbeheer). These national standards are mostly primary and in some cases secondary realisations of the SI unit used for the relevant quantity. The Dutch Measurement Units Decree 2006 (Meeteenhedenbesluit 2006) regulates the realisation of measurement standards, which include the metre, kilogram, second, kelvin, mole and candela.

Standards management

The Metre Convention (official Dutch name: Verdrag ter verzekering van de internationale eenheid en de volmaking van het metrieke stelsel) ,” (Paris, 20 May 1875) requires the management of standards. This includes three activities: basic management, management development and key comparisons.

  • Basic management includes:
    • managing and realising the measurement standards in terms of accuracy, as recorded in the Calibration and Measurement Capabilities Database of the participating institutes (the BIPM’s CMC);
    • ensuring that the equipment used for calibrations and for producing reference materials is kept operational;
    • maintaining a quality management system in accordance with international standards;
    • maintaining and sharing knowledge within the national, regional and global network of metrology institutes.
  • Management development specifically includes projects relating to existing standards that enhance the efficiency of their basic management by automating the measurement process.
  • ‚óŹ Key comparisons are the international comparisons aimed at demonstrating the comparability of the Dutch standards with the national standards of other signatories to the CIPM MRA. These key comparisons are conducted under the supervision of the BIPM and EURAMET.

Research Grant

The Research Grant (Researchsubsidie) enables fundamental research to be carried out on developing new standards and new measurement principles or methods.

Public accountability

Public accountability reports cover the various activities VSL performed in the year under review according to agreements with the government regarding Standards Management and the Research Grant. In 2021, the total financial volume of these programmes was EUR 9,854,000.00. EUR 6,390,000.00 of this (EUR 6,155,000.00 including VAT and EUR 235,000.00 VAT-free) was allotted for Standards Management and EUR 3,464,000.00 (VAT-free) for the Research Grant. Click here for our public accountability.