Language selection

Search

Consultation on new service standards

Table of contents


1.0 Purpose

Measurement Canada (MC) is seeking feedback on proposed changes to its existing service standards. Please submit your feedback by email to ryan.henshaw@canada.ca by March 19, 2020.

2.0 Introduction

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:

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.

3.1 Approvals

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:

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.

Table 1: Service standards for device approvals that do not require testing (calendar days)
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.

Table 2: Service standards for new device type evaluations (calendar days)
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.

Table 3: Service standards for approval testing (calendar days)
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

3.2 Calibrations

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:

Completing the service: An email is sent to the client to inform them that the standard has been calibrated and returned to them.

Table 4: Service standards for calibrations performed in MC laboratories (calendar days)
Standard Service standard
Inspector's weight kit 60 days
Precious metal weight kit 90 days
Prover ≤ 50 L 90 days
Prover > 50 L 60 days
Pycnometer 60 days
Thermometer 90 days
Radian 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:

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.

Table 5: Service standards and pledges for calibrations performed on site (business days)
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
  • 1–500: 16 days
  • 500–2,000: 20 days
  • 2,001 or more: 30 days
10 days

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.

Additional considerations

Table 6: Service pledges and standards for weights and measures inspections (business days)
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
Table 7: Service pledges and standards for electricity and natural gas inspections (business 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:

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 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:

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:

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.

Date modified: