Medium Capacity Weighing Systems


The NCWM Professional Certification Program provides assurance that an individual has a working knowledge of the U.S. standards for weights and measures as adopted by the NCWM. Certification is available to any individual, whether from the public or private sector whose profession requires thorough understanding of the national weights and measures standards. The Medium Capacity Weighing Systems certification exam will draw on relevant portions of NIST Handbook 44.

For the purposes of this exam, medium capacity scales are those with capacities over 300 lb, where the load is static at the time it is weighed and where primary test weights and test loads are typically applied by human hand. This may include scale applications such as platform scales, animal scales, hopper scales, crane scales, tank scales, fork-truck scales and others. Parts 2 and 3 of the exam may include a small number of questions dealing with requirements for mechanical weighing equipment with dial or beam type indicators that may not be covered in the Module referenced for that part.

Format and Duration:

The examination consists of three timed sections and will include a total of 50 questions as described below. All three sections of the exam must be completed in one session and the candidate may not log off and return to the exam at a later time. Each section must be completed before moving to the next section of the exam. Once a section has been completed, the individual may not return to a previously submitted section.

The exam is OPEN BOOK. The use of reference materials, training documents, and procedural guides is permitted. You may be asked to perform computations as part of the exam. If you intend to use your computer to perform these calculations, you should ensure the appropriate software is active before beginning the test and ensure the process will not interfere with the internet connection. The time counter will not stop while you change windows to perform the calculations. The examination is to be taken alone, without assistance from any other individual. You will be asked to affirm that at the conclusion of the examination.

Test instructions are provided online prior to starting the exam.  Since the test is electronically graded, the answer must be marked or typed correctly. The test questions will be multiple-choice, short answer, or compliance/citation. For multiple-choice questions, you will be asked to pick the best answer from four options by clicking the button before your selected answer.  For short answer questions, you must enter the specific answer, typed correctly. For compliance/citation questions, you will be given information describing a situation and asked to assess compliance. Answer “yes” if the situation complies based on the information provided, otherwise provide the specific legal citation if the device does not comply. The form of the citation will typically be something like S.X.X. for a specification, T.X.X. for a tolerance, or UR.X.X. for a user requirement. There is a short practice test to familiarize you with the exam environment and ensure that these basic rules for responses are understood.

Subject of Examination:

1.     Module 4.2 Introduction to Device Control – 15 questions (30 minute time limit)
These questions test for knowledge, understanding, and ability to apply the basic requirements applicable to all weighing and measuring devices. This may include questions on the selection, care and use of standards, the legal basis of NIST Handbook 44, the organization of that handbook, understanding of Fundamental Considerations, knowledge of systems of measurement units, understanding and application of General Code requirements, and understanding of the NTEP program and Certificates of Conformance.

2.     Module 4.3.1 Static Electronic Weighing Systems, General – 20 questions (50 minute time limit)
These questions test for knowledge and understanding of the basic technologies used in scales generally, understanding of classification of scales, ability to operate scales and interpret indications, understanding of and ability to apply technical and user requirements from NIST Handbook 44 Scales Code, and understanding and ability to conduct basic tests of medium capacity scales and properly apply tolerances.

3.     Module 4.3.6 Medium Capacity Weighing Systems – 15 questions (40 minute time limit)
These questions test for knowledge and understanding of the basic technologies used in medium capacity scales, understanding of and ability to apply technical and user requirements from NIST Handbook 44 Scales Code to medium capacity scales, and understanding and ability to conduct prescribed tests of medium capacity scales and properly apply tolerances.

Passing Score and Grading:
70%  (35 or more correct answers)

Following the completion of the examination or upon reaching the time limit for the third section, you will receive a score for each section and a total score. To protect the integrity of the test questions, NCWM will not advise you of the specific questions you answered incorrectly. The Professional Development Committee will be reviewing incorrect answers in periodic reviews and will adjust scores in select cases if a question is judged invalid. NCWM will notify if your score is affected.

If you wish to challenge any of the questions, there will be a section at the end of the examination where you can offer comments. You may also contact the NCWM Professional Development Committee through NCWM via email to or call (402) 434-4880

A certification issued under this program is valid for five (5) years.

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June 2017