Bruce Meldrum – 50 year NATA Technical Assessor

Industry News July 6, 2023
Bruce Meldrum – 50 year NATA Technical Assessor
NATA team

Can you tell us a little about your NATA knowledge? 

The National Association of Testing Authorities (NATA) was the world’s first cohesive organisation to set up an accreditation (competency) scheme for technology-based activities.   

The fields covered are now many and grew over time to just about any measurement function imaginable from mechanical testing, concrete batch testing, pathology, forensics, calibration and many, many more. 

NATA’s volunteer Technical Assessors (TA) are experts drawn from the particular field as the accreditation process is a peer assessment system. In the early days and being knowledgeable in the calibration area, I was moved into this space in the 70’s and have been on the NATA list ever since, coming up to 50 years even after official retirement in 2005! 

What was it that attracted you to a role as a TA? 

Being a TA is a fascinating activity and allows a unique insight into the customer needs for the calibration schedule of tests and who is doing what. 

The assessment task is to judge technical competence to the appropriate IEC or ISO standards and adherence to good laboratory practice as set out in the standard ISO/IEC 17025 for laboratory practice.  

National measurement laboratories around the world are also accredited in the same way as the local laboratories to ISO/IEC 17025 and the ISO and IEC standards of practice for the various tasks, usually by their equivalent of NATA.   

In the case of international locations, the technical assessors are drawn from other National Measurement Institutes as a peer assessment activity. I have been privileged to take part as a technical assessor in a number of those National laboratories in Europe, Canada, Taiwan, Japan, South Africa and Thailand.  In many cases the assessment involved people that I knew through the IEC committees, so it is indeed a small world in calibration. 

What are you currently doing? 

I continue to oversee the technical and governance side of a calibration system, that I was involved in the development of, for a private company and also act as the liaison with the regulatory authorities – kind of a hobby really as it involves only a few days a week and feeds my fascination with running a calibration system.   

As well, the pro-bono activities with NATA continue as there are few others in our field with a deep background knowledge in the vibration and acoustics calibration area.  

They say old metrologists never die, just that their uncertainties increase! 

To finish up I am mindful of a quote from Mark Twain: 

“If you can find a job you enjoy, then you will never have to work a day again”. 

We thank Bruce for his tireless efforts as a truly professional NATA Technical Assessor.