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Regional_Instrument_Centres

Regional Instrument Centres

Regional Instrument Centres (RICs) play a key role in implementation of the WMO strategy for traceability assurance, thus contributing to the Vision for the future of environmental measurements (Resolution 5 (CIMO-17)) and the Vision for WIGOS in 2040 (Resolution 38 (Cg-18)). RICs are established to maintain relevant calibration standards and assist Members in calibrating their national meteorological and related environmental standards and monitoring instruments.

General concept of RICs with full and basic capabilities had been established by CIMO-IX in 1985 and then updated in 2006 at CIMO-XIV. Facing a lack of clear benefits of this 2-type concept, CIMO-17 agreed in 2018 to a RIC single type concept, with the terms of reference as listed below (Recommendation 2 (CIMO-17)).

To strengthen RICs, EC-LX requested Regional Association to preform regular evaluations of their RICs, which would help in improving observation quality. In support of this evaluation, RICs are invited to use the evaluation scheme available here: Evaluation Scheme (.xls) to carry out their regular audits and improve their capabilities to meet Members' needs.

RICs are also requested to regularly inform Members on the services offered to Members and activities carried out, by providing annual reports. Recommended reporting form is available here: RIC-Reporting Form (.docx), while the reports can be accessed at RIC webpages below.  

Location of RICs by WMO Regional Association

RA I
Algiers (Algeria)
Gaborone (Botswana)
Cairo (Egypt)
Nairobi (Kenya)
Casablanca (Morocco)


RA II
Beijing (China)*
Tsukuba (Japan)*

RA III
Buenos Aires (Argentina)

RA IV
Bridgetown (Barbados)

RA V
Melbourne (Australia)*
Manila (Philippines)


RA VI
Toulouse (France)
Hamburg/Oberschleissheim (Germany)*
Bratislava (Slovakia)*
Ljubljana (Slovenia)*
Ankara (Turkey)*

* - RIC is accredited according to ISO/IEC 17025.

Terms of Reference

Regional Instrument Centres shall have the following capabilities to carry out their corresponding functions:

Capabilities:

  1. An RIC shall have the necessary facilities and laboratory equipment to perform the functions necessary for the calibration of meteorological and related environmental instruments;
  2. An RIC shall maintain a set of meteorological standard instruments and establish the traceability of its own measurement standards and measuring instruments to the International System of Units (SI);
  3. An RIC shall have competent managerial and technical staff to fulfil its functions;
  4. An RIC shall have technical procedures for calibration of meteorological and related environmental instruments using calibration equipment employed by the RIC;
  5. An RIC shall have and maintain a quality management system, preferably according to the ISO/IEC 17025 standard;
  6. An RIC shall participate in, and/or organize inter-laboratory comparisons of standard calibration instruments and methods;
  7. An RIC shall, as appropriate, utilize the available resources and capabilities to the Members’ best interest;
  8. An RIC shall, as far as possible, apply international standards applicable for calibration laboratories, such as ISO/IEC 17025 standard1;
  9. An RIC shall ensure it is assessed by a recognized authority or by a WMO evaluation team, at least every four years, to verify its capabilities and performance.

Corresponding Functions:

  1. An RIC shall assist Members of the Region, and possibly of other Regions, in calibrating their national meteorological standards and related environmental monitoring instruments;
  2. An RIC shall participate in, and/or organize, inter-laboratory comparisons, and support instrument intercomparisons following relevant WMO recommendations;
  3. According to relevant recommendations on the WMO Quality Management Framework, an RIC shall make a positive contribution to Members regarding the quality of measurements;
  4. An RIC shall advise Members on enquiries regarding instrument performance, maintenance and the availability of relevant guidance materials;
  5. An RIC shall actively participate, or assist, in the organization of workshops on calibration and maintenance of meteorological and related environmental instruments;
  6. An RIC shall contribute to the standardization of meteorological and related environmental measurements;
  7. An RIC shall conduct or support the regular assessment of Members’ needs for RIC services;
  8. An RIC shall regularly inform Members and report2, on an annual basis, to the WMO Secretariat on the services offered to Members and activities carried out.

 

1 For calibrating one or more of the following variables: temperature, humidity, pressure or others specified by the Region.

2 A Word file available here: RIC-Reporting Form (.docx), is recommended.