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Regional Instrument Centres

The general terms of reference of Regional Instrument Centres, as recommended by CIMO-IX in 1985, and updated by CIMO-XIV in 2006 represent the basis for the specific terms of reference refined and approved by the Regional Associations concerned for the RICs established within their field of responsibility.

RICs with full capability can assist Members of the Region in calibrating their national meteorological standards and related environmental monitoring instruments for the following variables: temperature, humidity, pressure and possibly others. While RICs with basic capability propose this service for at least one of these variables.

The text reproduced below is an excerpt from the 2014 edition of the Guide to Meteorological Instruments and Methods of Observation, WMO-No. 8 (2014), Part I, Chapter 1 "General", Annex 1.A.: Considering the need for regular calibration and maintenance of meteorological instruments to meet the increasing needs for high-quality meteorological and hydrological data, the need for building the hierarchy of the traceability of measurements to the International System of Units (SI) standards, Members' requirements for standardization of meteorological and related environmental instruments, the need for international instrument comparisons and evaluations in support of worldwide data compatibility and homogeneity, the need for training instrument experts and the role played by Regional Instrument Centres (RICs) in the Global Earth Observing System of Systems, the Natural Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Programme and other WMO cross-cutting programmes, it has been recommended (1) that RICs should have the capabilities to carry out their corresponding functions as specified below, under the Terms of Reference.   

To strengthen RICs, EC-LX requested Regional Association to preform regular evalutations of their RICs, which would help in improving observation quality. ET-RIC therefore developped an Evaluation Scheme for RIC to support them in carrying out their regular audits, and improving their capabilities to meet regions needs, where necessary. This Evaluation Scheme is based on the Terms of Reference of RICs and is in the form of an Excel sheet available here: Evaluation Scheme (.xls)

(1) Recommended by the Commision for Instruments and Methods of Observation at its fourteenth session, held in 2006.

Location of RICs by WMO Regional Association

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

RA II
Beijing (China)
Tsukuba (Japan)

RA III
Buenos Aires (Argentina)

RA IV
Bridgetown (Barbados)
San José (Costa Rica)


RA V
Manila (Philippines)
Melbourne (Australia)

RA VI
Toulouse (France)
Bratislava (Slovakia)
Ljubljana (Slovenia)

Regional Instrument Centres with full capabilities and functions should have the following capabilities to carry out their corresponding functions:

Capabilities:

(a) A RIC must have, or have access to, the necessary facilities and laboratory equipment to perform the functions necessary for the calibration of meteorological and related environmental instruments;

(b) A RIC must maintain a set of meteorological standard instruments and establish the traceability of its own measurement standards and measuring instruments to the SI;

(c) A RIC must have qualified managerial and technical staff with necessary experience to fulfil its functions;

(d) A RIC must develop its individual technical procedures for calibration of meteorological and related environmental instruments using calibration equipment employed by the RIC;

(e) A RIC must develop its individual quality assurance procedures;

(f) A RIC must participate in, or organize inter-laboratory comparisons of standard calibration instruments and methods;

(g) A RIC must, as appropriate, utilize the resources and capabilities of the Region to the Region's best interest;

(h) A RIC must, as far as possible, apply international standards applicable for calibration laboratories, such as ISO/IEC 17025;

(i) A recognized authority must assess a RIC, at least every five years, to verify its capabilities and performance;

Corresponding Functions:

(j) A RIC must assist Members of the Region in calibrating their national meteorological standards and related environmental monitoring instruments;

(k) A RIC must participate in, or organize, WMO and/or regional instrument intercomparisons, following relevant CIMO recommendations;

(l) According to relevant recommendations on the WMO Quality Management Framework, a RIC must make a positive contribution to Members regarding the quality of measurements;

(m) A RIC must advise Members on enquiries regarding instrument performance, maintenance and the availability of relevant guidance materials;

(n) A RIC must actively participate, or assist, in the organization of regional workshops on meteorological and related environmental instruments;

(o) The RIC must cooperate with other RICs in the standardization of meteorological and related environmental measurements;

(p) A RIC must regularly inform Members and report (2), on an annual basis, to the president of the regional association and to the WMO Secretariat on the services offered to Members and activities carried out.

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


Regional Instrument Centres with basic capabilities and functions should have the following capabilities to carry out their corresponding functions:

Capabilities:

(a) A RIC must have, or have access to, the necessary facilities and laboratory equipment to perform the functions necessary for the calibration of meteorological and related environmental instruments;

(b) A RIC must maintain a set of meteorological standard instruments (3) and establish the traceability of its own measurement standards and measuring instruments to the SI;

(c) A RIC must have qualified managerial and technical staff with necessary experience to fulfil its functions;

(d) A RIC must develop its individual technical procedures for the calibration of meteorological and related environmental instruments using calibration equipment employed by the RIC;

(e) A RIC must develop its individual quality assurance procedures;

(f) A RIC must participate in, or organize, inter-laboratory comparisons of standard calibration instruments and methods;

(g) A RIC must, when appropriate, utilize the resources and capabilities of the Region to the Region's best interest;

(h) A RIC must, as far as possible, apply international standards applicable for calibration laboratories, such as ISO/IEC 17025;

(i) A recognized authority must assess a RIC, at least every five years, to verify its capabilities and performance;

Corresponding functions:

(j) A RIC must assist Members of the Region in calibrating their national meteorological standards and related environmental monitoring instruments according to Capabilities (b);

(k) According to relevant recommendations on WMO Quality Management Framework, a RIC must make a positive contribution to Members regarding quality of measurements;

(l) A RIC must advise Members on enquiries regarding instrument performance, maintenance and the availability of relevant guidance materials;

(m) The RIC must cooperate with other RICs in the standardization of meteorological and related environmental measurements;

(n) A RIC must regularly inform Members and report (2), on an annual basis, to the president of the regional association and to the WMO Secretariat on the services offered to Members and activities carried out.

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

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

 

 





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