Consultation on new service standards
Table of contents
- 1.0 Purpose
- 2.0 Introduction
- 3.0 Proposed changes to service standards
- 3.1 Approvals
- 3.2 Calibrations
- 3.3 Inspections performed by Measurement Canada
- 3.4 Alternative service delivery for authorized service providers
- 4.0 Remission policy (for information only)
Measurement Canada (MC) is seeking feedback on proposed changes to its existing service standards. Please submit your feedback by email to firstname.lastname@example.org by March 19, 2020.
The Weights and Measures Act and Regulations, and the Electricity and Gas Inspection Act and Regulations, prescribe fees for the provision of some services, including:
- the evaluation and approval of prototype measuring devices (e.g., scales, gas pumps, electricity and natural gas meters);
- some categories of inspections and measurement standard certifications; and
- the accreditation of non-government entities to certify electricity and gas meters and measuring devices.
Service standards presently exist for these services.
The Service Fees Act (SFA) and the Treasury Board Secretariat's (TBS) Directive on Charging and Special Financial Authorities (the Directive) require government authorities who charge fees for services to have service standardsFootnote 1 for these services. The SFA requires that the responsible authority provide the client with a remittance of the fee or part of the fee paid to obtain the service when the service standard is not met.
The SFA also requires that a remission policy identify how remissions will be calculated when the service standard is not met. The remission policy will come into effect April 1, 2020, for service requests received on April 1, 2020, or after. The remission policy is not part of this consultation.
3.0 Proposed changes to service standards
Nearly all of MC's current service standards are more than 20 years old and no longer reflect the time and resources required to deliver the services.
MC is seeking feedback on proposed modifications to these service standards to align them with SFA requirements. They will be associated with the time-based aspects of the delivery of a service for which fees are charged to enable the calculation of remissions when a service standard is not met.
The agency is also proposing the introduction of service pledges that guide overarching service excellence in the context of scheduling and administering the service in a timely manner. However, these activities are not part of the proposed service standard, are not included in the calculation of the fee for the service and are not part of the remission when the standard is not met.
Over the last few decades, there have been many advances in the types and complexities of devices submitted to MC for evaluation and approval. As a result, electricity and natural gas meters, scales, gas pumps and other measuring devices take more time to test and evaluate. MC has also found that having the same service standard for all approvals in every field (electricity, gas, mass, volume) does not reflect the differences in technologies, device categories or types, testing requirements and time needed by each laboratory.
Refining service standards to better reflect the measurement field and device type would increase the clarity and transparency of MC's services. For these reasons, MC is proposing service standards that better reflect the approval process of its four device approval laboratories and the complexity of device types within them.
The new proposed service standards were developed by analyzing data from recent approvals carried out by MC's laboratories. As part of this analysis, it was discovered that in general, when prototype devices required an extended approval period, it was due to non-compliances found during testing and/or having to test multiple samples. MC is proposing that, instead of incorporating projects of this nature into a single service standard, a separate service standard be added for non-compliances and multiple samples.
Another trend revealed by the analysis is that certain device types take much longer than others to approve, so new service standards were created to more accurately reflect these differences.
To improve client service and transparency, MC will contact applicants when the approval process has been initiated, put on hold and completed.
Initiating the service: An email is sent to the applicant to confirm that a complete type approval application has been received by MC.
Putting the service on hold: An email is sent to the applicant to inform them that the application for approval has been put on hold and to provide them with the conditions that must be fulfilled to continue the work. Once the conditions have been met, an email is sent to the applicant and the approval process continues.
Note: Events such as the following that are outside of MC's control and prevent progress from being made on an approval project do not count toward the service standard:
- Samples have been requested but have not yet received by MC's test laboratory;
- On-site testing has been scheduled but has not begun yet;
- A notice of non-compliance has been sent to the applicant and testing can't continue until the non-compliance is corrected;
- MC has requested, but not yet received, critical information such as manuals or calibration instructions that are required to carry out the testing; and
- Agreed upon external testing is being performed by testing bodies such as the United States' National Type Evaluation Program and the National Research Council Canada (NRC).
Completing the service: A notice of approval is issued and posted on MC's website, or an acknowledgment of project rejection or withdrawal is issued by email to the applicant.
Note: Additional samples or configuration modes as well as notices of non-compliance can add up to 30 days each to the service standard. MC will communicate the initial service standard and any changes made to the overall service standard.
3.1.1 Approvals that don't require testing
In cases such as the following three, the applicant may not need to have their device tested.
- When a notice of approval has already been issued for a device and a change is requested that is deemed not to affect measurement (e.g., a new housing design or a change of the applicant's address), a modification acceptance letter (MAL) is issued instead of a full revision to the existing notice of approval.
- If an applicant asks to use their class approval for a device that falls outside the parameters specified in it, MC issues them a class approval authorization letter (CAAL) for that device.
- When MC has an arrangement with another laboratory (third-party testing) to accept its test results.
|Service type||Service standard|
|MAL/CAAL (paperwork only)||30 days|
|Third party/no testing (US mutual recognition arrangement, OIML certification system, NRC, RT-01)||90 days|
3.1.2 Approvals devices containing new technology
When applications are received for devices containing new technology or that do not readily appear to fit in any existing category, the devices are assessed to determine if they need to be approved by MC and if they fit into an existing category. The proposed service standard for this assessment is 20 days. This service is complete when the applicant has been informed of the way to proceed or the decision whether or not to close the project.
Once the device is sent to a specific laboratory, a new project is initiated and the service standard for that laboratory and device type applies. If the initial assessment has been completed and the device type/category is still not clear, MC discusses the matter with the applicant and they agree to a service standard to issue the notice of approval based on the further assessment, research and testing that will need to be carried out.
|Service type||Service standard|
|Assessment of new device type||20 days|
|Approval||To be determined after assessment|
3.1.3 Approvals of existing device types
The proposed service standard for device types that have already been tested in MC laboratories is based on the field to which they relate (electricity, mass, volume, gas).
The mass laboratory approves all types of scales, from portable jewelry scales to scales for weighing fully loaded transport trucks. It is also responsible for approving devices that measure dimensions, from simple length measuring devices to multiple dimension measuring devices and timber dimension measuring devices. Only minor changes to the service standards were needed for these devices.
The electricity laboratory approves electricity meters and transformers. Meter approvals were subdivided into complex and simple, as there is a significant difference between a simple software revision and the approval of a brand new multifunction meter. The service standard for large transformers was revised to better reflect set-up time due to their size and complexity.
The volume laboratory approves devices that measure flowing liquid, from gas pumps to flow meters installed in pipelines. It has been proposed that the number of days stated in service standards for these devices be increased to reflect the varying complexity of the devices submitted for approval as well as the difficulty of installing them and removing them from MC's test benches.
The gas laboratory approves devices that measure gas flow in all ranges of pressure. The current service standard did not take into account the complexity of these devices and the length of time required to test them. There is a higher number of days in the proposed service standards for the gas laboratory than in the current standard. The gas laboratory is revising its processes to reduce the number of days in their service standards in the future.
|Laboratory||Device type||Service standard|
|Mass||High capacity scale and other large scales||100 days|
|Mass||All other scales||90 days|
|Mass||Device for measuring one or more dimensions||90 days|
|Electricity||Transformer (large post type)||200 days|
|Electricity||Transformer (all others)||120 days|
|Electricity||Electricity meter (simple)||90 days|
|Electricity||Electricity meter (complex)||150 days|
|Volume||Mass flow meter||215 days|
|Volume||Milk measuring system||160 days|
|Volume||Dispenser (liquefied natural gas / liquefied petroleum gas / diesel exhaust fluid)||120 days|
|Volume||Dispenser (gas/diesel)||150 days|
|Volume||Bulk meter||150 days|
|Volume||Electronic register||150 days|
|Gas||Rotary meter||400 days|
|Gas||Diaphragm meter||300 days|
|Gas||Pressure transmitter||550 days|
|Gas||Electronic volume conversion device||500 days|
|Gas||Flow computer||700 days|
|Gas||Automatic meter reading device||365 days|
|Gas||Gas chromatograph||500 days|
|Gas||Compressed natural gas dispenser||500 days|
|Gas||Flow conditioner||400 days|
|Gas||Ultrasonic meter||700 days|
|Gas||Orifice meter||400 days|
|Gas||Pressure regulator||200 days|
|Gas||Coriolis mass flow meter||700 days|
MC is proposing a more detailed structure with service standards that more accurately reflect the complexity of the physical standards and the calibration techniques used.
Authorized service providers and MC must have their physical standards (e.g., weights) and measuring devices (e.g., electricity meter test consoles) certified by MC when they are used to inspect and certify devices. Authorized service provider standards and devices must be included in the list sent annually to the regional coordinator, alternative service delivery to qualify for this service.
Proposed service standards for calibrations have been subdivided into two parts: services that are performed in MC laboratories and services that are performed in the regions or where the physical standard is installed.
3.2.1 Calibrations performed at Measurement Canada laboratories in Ottawa
The service standards for laboratory calibrations are largely unchanged, with the exception of a few device types that have historically taken longer to calibrate and certify. The proposed number of days for the service standards for these device types is higher.
Initiating the service: An email is sent to the client who requested the service to confirm that the standard has been received by an MC laboratory.
Putting the service on hold: An email is sent to the client to inform them that calibration work has been temporarily put on hold and to provide them with the conditions that must be fulfilled to continue the work. Once the conditions have been met, an email is sent to the client and work on the calibration continues.
Note: Events such as the following that are outside of MC's control and that prevent progress from being made on the project do not count toward the service standard:
- The standard or its container needs repairs or adjustments before the standard can be calibrated;
- A replacement part or container is being sent by the client to MC.
Completing the service: An email is sent to the client to inform them that the standard has been calibrated and returned to them.
|Inspector's weight kit||60 days|
|Precious metal weight kit||90 days|
|Prover ≤ 50 L||90 days|
|Prover > 50 L||60 days|
|Barometer, pressure gauge||60 days|
|Weight or volumetric prover calibrated at a regional laboratory||60 days|
3.2.2 Calibrations performed in the regions or on site
The number of days in the proposed service standards for standards calibrated and certified on site or at MC regional locations is lower than for standards calibrated and certified at MC laboratories in Ottawa due to the nature of the work performed.
The calibration is scheduled in advance at the request of the client. The time for MC to respond to the calibration request is found in the service pledge and is not part of the service standard.
Initiating the service: The inspector starts to perform the calibration.
Putting the service on hold: The inspector informs the on-site authority that the calibration cannot continue and has been put on hold. The conditions that must be fulfilled to continue the service are communicated at this time. The calibration is rescheduled once MC has been informed that the conditions have been met. Depending on the reason the service was put on hold and the steps taken to address the non-compliance, the inspector may have to restart the work at the initial step of the calibration.
Note: Events such as the following that are outside of MC's control and that prevent progress from being made on a calibration do not count toward the service standard:
- The standard or its container needs repairs or adjustment before the standard can be calibrated;
- A replacement part or container is being sent by the client to the calibration site.
Completing the service: The Certificate of Designation and Certificate of Calibration, if separate, are emailed to the client. In most cases this is done after the inspector leaves the site, as time is needed to calculate the values provided on the certificate.
|Service||Service standard||Service pledge|
|Master bell prover calibrated by Ottawa staff||15 days||30 days|
|Prover calibration performed by regional staff||15 days||10 days|
|Annual prover maintenance performed by regional staff||15 days||10 days|
|Rotary meter volume simulator calibrated by regional staff||15 days||10 days|
|Test console calibrated by regional staff||By number of test points
3.3 Inspections performed by Measurement Canada
The proposed service standard for inspections has been redefined to more closely align with the delivery of the service being charged for. As such, an inspection is now divided into three phases.
Phase 1: Scheduling the inspection (service pledge)
This phase represents MC's commitment to the timeliness of scheduling the requested inspection.
Phase 2: Performing an on-site inspection (service standard)
This phase begins when work commences after the inspector arrives on site. The service is deemed to be completed when the testing is complete and the device owner or their representative is given confirmation that the device can or cannot be used in trade.
Phase 3: Issuing the certificate (service pledge)
In many cases, the certificate is immediately made available to the client following an on-site inspection. When it can't be, a service pledge applies. This phase begins when phase 2 is complete and ends when the certificate is sent to the client electronically.
- Events such as the following that are outside of MC's control and that prevent progress from being made on an inspection do not count toward the service standard:
- Repairs or corrections are required before a device can be inspected or the inspection can proceed;
- Access to the device is impeded (e.g., the device is located within a dwelling or an area where health and safety restrictions apply).
- If another inspection needs to be scheduled, the date of the new inspection counts as the first day of the service standard.
- If a device passes the inspection, an inspection sticker is placed on it regardless of whether or not the certificate can be issued immediately.
|Device type||Phase 1 (service pledge)||Phase 2 (service standard)||Phase 3 (service pledge)|
|Computing scale||10 days||1 hour||10 days|
|Platform scale ( < 10 000 kg)||10 days||2 hours per deck||10 days|
|Platform scale (10 000 kg and up)||10 days||4 hours per deck||10 days|
|Automatic platform or computing scale||10 days||5 hours||10 days|
|Hopper scale||10 days||5 hours||10 days|
|Bulkweigher||10 days||10 hours||10 days|
|Crane scale||10 days||4 hours||10 days|
|Conveyor belt scale||10 days||16 hours||10 days|
|Overhead rail scale||10 days||3 hours||10 days|
|Automatic overhead rail scale||10 days||6 hours||10 days|
|On-board weighing system||10 days||4 hours||10 days|
|Unattended, multi-deck vehicle scale||10 days||10 hours||10 days|
|All other vehicle scales||10 days||4 hours||10 days|
|Non-automatic railway scale||10 days||7 hours||10 days|
|Automatic railway scale||10 days||18 hours||10 days|
|Linear static measure||10 days||1 hour||10 days|
|Multiple dimension measuring device (MDMD)||10 days||5 hours||10 days|
|Timber dimension measuring device (TDMD)||10 days||2 days||10 days|
|Dispenser||10 days||1 hour||10 days|
|High-speed refueller||10 days||2 hours||10 days|
|Rack-mounted bulk meter||10 days||4 hours||10 days|
|Vehicle-mounted bulk meter||10 days||4 hours||10 days|
|Coriolis mass flow meter||10 days||7 hours||10 days|
|Slow flow meter||10 days||1 hour||10 days|
|Gravity meter||10 days||4 hours||10 days|
|Thermal energy meter||10 days||1 hour||10 days|
|All other devices||10 days||Contact MC for a quote||10 days|
|Device type||Phase 1 (service pledge)||Phase 2 (service standard)||Phase 3 (service pledge)|
|Diaphragm meter||10 days||2 hours||15 days|
|Rotary meter||10 days||3 hours||15 days|
|Turbine meter||10 days||3 hours||15 days|
|Orifice meter||10 days||7 hours||15 days|
|Coriolis mass flow meter||10 days||4 hours||15 days|
|Ultrasonic meter||10 days||7 hours||15 days|
|Fluidic oscillation gas meter||10 days||4 hours||15 days|
|Cone-shaped differential pressure meter||10 days||7 hours||15 days|
|Mechanical volume conversion device||10 days||3 hours||15 days|
|Electronic volume conversion device||10 days||3 hours||15 days|
|Flow computer||10 days||6 hours||15 days|
|Electrical pulse device||10 days||3 hours||15 days|
|Indicating device||10 days||4 hours||15 days|
|Gas chromatograph||10 days||4 hours||15 days|
|Dispenser for natural gas||10 days||4 hours||15 days|
|Pressure regulator||10 days||2 hours||15 days|
|Temperature and pressure transmitter||10 days||3 hours||15 days|
|Correction function of gas meters||10 days||3 hours||15 days|
|Densitometer||10 days||4 hours||15 days|
|Flow conditioner used in gas measurement systems||10 days||5 hours||15 days|
|Conditioning orifice plate||10 days||5 hours||15 days|
|Multiple customer metering system (MCMS)||10 days||1 day per 24 metering points||15 days|
|Electricity installations which meet the requirements of specification S-E-08
and conform to one of the standard drawings in Appendix A of S-E-08
|10 days||1 hour||15 days|
|All other electricity installations||10 days||2 hours||15 days|
|All other devices||10 days||Contact MC for a quote||15 days|
3.4 Alternative service delivery for authorized service providers
Note: Service standards for the training of all authorized service providers and the auditing of weights and measures authorized service providers are governed by legally binding agreements and not subject to SFA requirements. Therefore they are not part of this consultation.
MC recently reviewed its service standard for electricity and gas audits that are part of its accreditation program and has decided to retain its 30-day service standard.
4.0 Remission policy (for information only)
As per the SFA and the Directive, remission amounts must be established in a remission policy. The SFA and the Directive establish that the remission policy must consider the following four factors:
- The proportion by which the standard is not met;
- The impact on the fee-payer of the standard not being met;
- Any circumstances beyond the department's control that may impact its ability to meet the standard; and
- Any role that the fee-payer may play in the standard not being met.
In preparation for issuing a final policy, the elements of MC's remission policy are discussed below along with the factors that MC used to help determine how remissions will be calculated and processed.
4.1 Remission eligibility
Remissions as outlined here apply only to services for which fees are established in MC regulations and that have published service standards. A party is eligible for a fee remission if the following criteria are met:
- A relevant service standard has been missed for reasons other than the ones considered special conditions below;
- The applicable fee was paid in full before the number of days stated in the service standard has gone by; and
- The parties provided complete and accurate information before the number of days stated in the service standard has gone by.
A party is not eligible for a fee remission when one or more service standards are not met due to any of the following special conditions:
- An unforeseeable event occurs (e.g., an emergency, work stoppage, power failure, or other occurrence that could not reasonably be anticipated or avoided);
- A planned or unplanned system outage occurs;
- Delays are caused by actions or inaction by the client (e.g., lack of access to a site delays an inspection process); and
- The total charge for the service falls below $50, which is considered low materiality (i.e., the Low-materiality Fees Regulations under the SFA has established $50 as a reference point for materiality).
4.2 Remission procedure
The total charge for a service provided by MC includes a number of different fees. For example, the total charge for a gas pump inspection that requires an MC inspector to travel includes the following component fees:
- Charges for the inspector's time;
- Inspection or service costs relating to the tests conducted;
- Travel fare or mileage charge, where applicable, in accordance with current National Joint Council guidelines; and
- Incidental expenses incurred by the inspector during travel time in accordance with current TBS guidelines.
It is important to note that any remission provided by MC would exclude travel and incidental costs outside of MC's control (e.g., equipment rentals). Regardless of whether or not an MC inspector meets the service standard, MC has no choice but to incur travel and incidental costs to provide the service. As such, the remission will exclude travel and incidental costs, as the inspector's performance on site is the basis for the service.
MC charges a fee after it has completed the requested service through the issuance of an invoice. If a remission is owed, MC can charge the full amount for a service and issue a remission after for failed service, or charge an amount that already considers the remission. The latter is referred to as a net charge.
For the benefit of MC's clients, the agency proposes to issue a remittance using the net charge method, meaning that it will track remittances owed internally and apply them to final charges owed by the client before the final fee is charged. However, in the case of accreditations, charges are paid through the online Moneris system at the time the accreditation is granted. In the case of a remission for accreditations, MC will remit to the client's credit card via another process.
This makes the process more complex for MC in terms of tracking accounts, but it is more efficient when compared to billing a client for the full cost of the service and then issuing a remittance after the full payment has been received.
4.3 Calculation of the remission amount
In accordance with the SFA and the Directive, the remission amount will be based on the proportion by which the standard is not met and the impact on the fee-payer of the standard not being met. The maximum amount that will be remitted is 50% of the charge, excluding travel and incidental costs. All remissions will therefore be scaled in the same way (i.e., a 25% remission when the standard is missed by 50% or a 5% remission when the standard is missed by 10%). A maximum remission of 50% will be remitted if MC takes at least twice as long as stated in the service standard to provide the service.
Where a service standard is expressed in hours or days, MC will calculate remissions on an hourly basis. For example, if the service standard is four hours and MC is one hour late, MC will remit one quarter of 50% (12.5%) of the eligible charges. If the standard is longer than 7 days, MC will calculate remissions on a weekly basis.
If there is a documented reason beyond MC's control as to why it was unable to meet the relevant service standard, the client will not receive a remittance should the delay be the only reason that the standard is not met.
Furthermore, any role that the fee-payer may have played in the standard not being met will be given consideration in the issuance of a remittance. If the fee-payer bears responsibility for a delay or a failure on MC's part to meet the service standard, no remittance will be issued should the delay be the only reason that the standard is not met. The fee-payer will also be responsible for the time that the inspector must wait to complete the scheduled inspection. The initial service standard will make reference to this stipulation.
If MC has not been provided with appropriate information causing a delay (e.g., an incomplete approval submission), the time elapsed will not count toward the service standard. Delays of this nature will be explained in the service standard.
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