Introduction to Measurement Uncertainty (EMU 101)

This course is a suitable introduction for both calibration and testing laboratory participants, focusing on the concepts and mathematics of the measurement uncertainty evaluation process. The participant will gain an understanding of the statistical techniques required to estimate measurement uncertainty, and will practice those skills to create basic uncertainty budgets.


Course Content

  •  Introduction:
    • The requirement for uncertainty estimates.
    • Uncertainty References, Definitions, The GUM; and other more user-friendly material.
  •     Mathematics:
    • Significant digits, scientific notation, and units conversion.
    • Basic statistics used in the GUM.
  •     Estimating Uncertainties:
    • Type A and Type B methods.
    • Distributions, confidence levels, standard deviation.
    • Distributions and Applying corrections.
    • Outside limit estimates.
    • How many measurements (sample size).
    • Combination of uncertainties.
    • Correlated vs. uncorrelated.
    • Expanded uncertainty; and confidence intervals.


Participants should be familiar with statistical functions in spreadsheets. A working understanding of mathematics and statistics will clarify the math presented in this course.



The participant will need to bring a laptop computer (PC or MAC) with Microsoft Excel or similar spreadsheet installed. Please note that the tablet and smart phone versions of Excel and other spreadsheets do not have the full functionality of the PC versions and the participant may not be able to utilize all the power of the spreadsheet covered during the training.


Target Attendees

This course is designed for personnel working in calibration, metrology, testing or other measurement fields. Target learners include Laboratory Managers, Engineers, Scientists, or Technicians.

PLEASE NOTE: This class is suitable for those laboratories whose tests and/or calibrations fall within the category of Type IV or V in accordance with A2LA's P103 - Policy on Estimating Measurement Uncertainty for Testing Laboratories.

Learning Outcomes

After successful completion of the course, the participant will be able to:  

1. Apply tools and techniques learned during the course to their measurement processes;
2. Employ the statistical capability of spreadsheet applications;
3. Identify and Utilize supplemental tools for determining Type A measurement uncertainty (Repeatability and Reproducibility); and
4. Demonstrate techniques for calibration interval analysis and other improvements to the measurement process.

CEUs Awarded

0.7 CEUs Awarded*


Presentation Style

Lecture, discussion, and group exercises.


The Guide to the Expression of Uncertainty in Measurement (GUM).

Participants should bring laptops with a spreadsheet application, such as Excel.

*American Association for Laboratory Accreditation (A2LA) is accredited by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET) and is authorized to issue the IACET CEU.



December 11, 2019
5202 Presidents Ct.
Frederick, MD 21703
8:00 AM – 5:00 PM

February 18, 2020
5202 Presidents Ct.
Frederick, MD 21703
8:00 AM – 5:00 PM

PLEASE NOTE: Registration for public training courses will close 7 days prior to the start date.
A2LA can offer on-site training at your facility. For additional information about this option, please submit a quote request here.