QMT Features: December 2014
Online measurement training
NPL’s measurement training courses are now available online writes Keith Bevan, NPL Training Delivery Manager

As the UK’s National Measurement Institute, the National Physical Laboratory (NPL) is an invaluable resource for companies seeking assistance with matters of measurement. Our extensive training programme places decades of expertise at the disposal of clients spanning a broad range of manufacturing fields, ranging from aerospace and shipbuilding to medical and energy.

The primary goal of our training programme is to give employees an awareness of the core principles associated with good measurement practice. Whether they are using measuring instruments such as callipers, micrometers, articulated arms or laser scanners, a methodical approach is needed if quantifiable results are to be obtained. Manufacturing techniques have changed over the years that the NPL training programme has been running, but the fundamental principles involved in obtaining accurate measurements remain as relevant as ever.

Over the past year, NPL has introduced various training modules online, including an Introduction to Metrology, Uncertainty and Dimensional Measurement. Our nationally accredited training programme now offers candidates a fully interactive learning experience, providing core theoretical knowledge that can be supplemented with real-life ‘blended’ practical sessions and workshops.

The blended method of learning has a number of advantages for businesses by allowing for online sessions to be completed remotely at any time, where the employee downtime is minimised and the impact of training on productivity can be managed more smoothly.

NPL’s e-learning system also makes the training programme beneficial to a variety of audiences. The programme gives the opportunity for senior managers, designers and others to benefit from an understanding of the importance of metrology without ever being required to practice it. Such a system allows them to better understand the role played by their colleagues in the measurement teams.

We know that companies can sometimes be reluctant to invest in training costs, especially when their own employees feel comfortable with existing measurement techniques. Whenever we have conducted studies comparing a company’s usual way of measurement with NPL’s methodology of instilling measurement behaviours through the use of questioning, planning and good practice, our clients have been amazed by the difference in effectiveness.  Good measurement practices may seem to involve more work, but early implementation of the right measurement behaviours can save companies both money and time in the long run.

What makes NPL’s training unique is its combination of online, classroom and blended solutions linked to good practice. As NPL is committed to upholding national standards, our training addresses the core principles associated with measurement irrespective of the equipment being used. In order to achieve this our training processes are independently reviewed and audited, ensuring we provide UK companies with the best possible service.
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