Weights and measures
Guidance notes for weighbridge operators
Before an operator makes a weighbridge available for public use, for which a charge is made, the operator must have a certificate which is issued by the Trading Standards Service following satisfactory completion of a proficiency test. To obtain the certificate, the operator needs to be familiar with legislation relating to weighbridge equipment and its operation, particularly Section 20 of the Weights and Measures Act 1985. The following are some examples of the knowledge required:
- operate the specific weighbridge satisfactorily, including operation of any attached PC-based equipment and ticket printers and perform basic arithmetic
- understand their duties as a weighbridge operator, eg ensuring the vehicle is fully on the weighbridge plate and no persons including the driver or any passengers are in the vehicle or on the plate
- how at all times to keep the weighbridge ‘balanced’, ie showing a zero reading when empty, and the methods by which zero is maintained. ‘Balance’ can be affected by dirt and weather conditions. An incorrect ‘balance’ will give incorrect weighings. Attendants should be aware of common faults which may cause inaccurate weighings
- complete any weighbridge tickets and associated documentation satisfactorily. This is to include the date and time of weighing, the registration number of the vehicle and particulars of the load
- understand potential frauds which may unknowingly be assisted by a weighbridge operator
- records must be kept for two years and produced for a trading standards inspection if requested
Any public weighbridge attendant who commits any of the following will be guilty of an offence:
- without reasonable cause fails to carry out a weighing on request
- carries out a weighing unfairly
- fails to provide a written record of the weight recorded
- fails to make an accurate record of the weighing, including the time and date of it and, when weighing a vehicle, such particulars of the vehicle and any load on it which will identify that vehicle and that load
- provides a false statement of any weight found or makes a false record of any weighing
- commits any fraud in connection with any weighing or purported weighing
Apply for a weighbridge operator certificate
Online applications are processed via the GOV.UK website.
We regularly test weights and measures equipment. The service also hires out equipment to businesses for calibrating and testing.
If you need to book a weights and measures check or hire any equipment, please contact the Customer Service Centre via the details on this page and ask to be put through to the Advice and Compliance Team.