DAOD 3036-0, Calibration

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Definitions
  3. Policy Direction
  4. Consequences
  5. Authorities
  6. References

1. Introduction

Date of Issue: 2019-08-20

Application: This DAOD is a directive that applies to employees of the Department of National Defence (DND employees) and an order that applies to officers and non-commissioned members of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF members).

Supersession: C-06-020-001/AM-001, Test Equipment Calibration Policy

Approval Authority: Assistant Deputy Minister (Materiel) (ADM(Mat))

Enquiries: Quality Engineering Test Establishment (QETE) Superintendent

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2. Definitions

calibration (étalonnage)

A process of comparing an instrument to a standard to determine the accuracy of the instrument and correlate the instrument to the standard by adjustment or producing a corrected scale. (Defence Terminology Bank record number 695748)

calibration authority (autorité de l’étalonnage)

The person who has the authority to set calibration specifications, intervals and standards, provide technical advice and monitor compliance with the Calibration Programme. (Defence Terminology Bank record number 695749)

calibration hierarchy (hiérarchie d'étalonnage)

A sequence of calibrations from a reference to the final measuring system in which the outcome of each calibration depends on the outcome of the previous calibration. (Defence Terminology Bank record number 695750)

instrument (instrument)

An electrical, electronic, electro-mechanical or mechanical device that produces, converts or measures a value and requires periodic calibration, adjustment or verification to perform to a distinct specification.

Note Examples of instruments are oscilloscopes, gauges and torque wrenches. (Defence Terminology Bank record number 695752)

primary measurement standard (étalon primaire)

A standard established using a primary reference measurement procedure or created as an artifact chosen by convention. (Defence Terminology Bank record number 695753)

primary standards laboratory (laboratoire des étalons primaires)

A facility that holds primary measurement standards and oversees the calibration hierarchy. (Defence Terminology Bank record number 695754)

standard (étalon)

In respect of calibration, a measurement system, instrument, natural physical constant or material with known characteristics and accuracy that is used as a reference to establish and maintain the accuracy of a measurement system, test system or device. (Defence Terminology Bank record number 695755)

technical authority (autorité technique)

The person who has the authority to set technical specifications and standards, manage configurations, provide technical advice and monitor compliance within their area of responsibility. (Defence Terminology Bank record number 43437)

test, measurement and diagnostic equipment (équipement de test, mesure et diagnostic)

Equipment used to measure, calibrate, gauge, test, inspect, diagnose or examine other equipment, material or supplies to determine their compliance with established specifications. (Defence Terminology Bank record number 695756)

tool (outil)

An electrical, electronic, electro-mechanical or mechanical device that does not produce, convert or measure a value, or require periodic adjustment or calibration.

Note Examples of tools are hammers and drills. (Defence Terminology Bank record number 695759)

verification (vérification)

A process of ensuring that equipment or a process is operating in accordance with established specifications. (Defence Terminology Bank record number 695758) 

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3. Policy Direction


3.1 The accuracy and reliability of all test, measurement and diagnostic equipment (TMDE) degrade over time. Calibration quantifies and controls errors or uncertainties within the measurement process and ensures that data received from TMDE is converted into an accurate and reliable interpretation of the value.

Policy Statement

3.2 The DND and the CAF are committed to developing and implementing a single Calibration Programme in order to contribute to the operational effectiveness of the DND and the CAF.


3.3 The DND and the CAF must:

  1. plan, develop and implement the Calibration Programme within a materiel acquisition and support framework, consistent with applicable practices and standards to the extent practicable in a military context, that:
    1. ensures the operational effectiveness of platforms, weapons systems and equipment, by complying with the requirements of programmes for naval materiel assurance, land materiel assurance and airworthiness;
    2. minimizes risks associated with calibration;
    3. provides calibration services consistent with ISO/IEC:17025-2017, General requirements for the competence of testing and calibration laboratories;
    4. ensures calibration and repair services are only performed by authorized facilities; and
    5. ensures that all calibrations and repairs are traceable to the International System of Units through one of the following:
      • a national metrology institute;
      • a primary standards laboratory;
      • a DND and CAF approved calibration centre;
      • an original equipment manufacturer (OEM);
      • an accredited independent laboratory;
      • an approved source; or
      • implementation of a compliance and evaluation process to ensure that the requirements of the Calibration Programme are met; and
  2. ensure calibration of TMDE used by the DND and the CAF:
    1. is subject to technical compliance or technical rigour;
    2. conforms to specifications established in technical documents;
    3. is subject to periodic and recurring verification;
    4. requires verification against a primary measurement standard or a working standard;
    5. is recommended for calibration by the OEM; and
    6. is authorized by the calibration authority.


3.4 The calibration of the following are not within the scope of the DAOD 3036 series:

  1. an instrument that is subject to the Weights and Measures Act for the purchase and sale of measured products and services;
  2. radioactivity detection, indication and computation (RADIAC) equipment;
  3. cryptographic and communication security equipment;
  4. a medical device used for patient diagnostics, patient care or patient treatment;
  5. a device used in the enforcement of the Criminal Code or other federal, provincial or territorial laws;
  6. ammunition or explosives;
  7. a tool;
  8. an instrument that is not subject to technical compliance or technical rigour; and
  9. an instrument that:
    1. does not have a technical authority or a supply manager; and
    2. is locally procured and not approved by the calibration authority.

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4. Consequences


4.1 Should clarification of the policy statement, requirements or authorities set out in this DAOD be required, DND employees and CAF members may seek direction through their channel of communication or chain of command, as appropriate. The anticipated results set out in the policy statement may not be achieved by the DND and the CAF if the requirements specified in this DAOD are not properly implemented. Not achieving the anticipated results could affect the ability of the DND and the CAF to ensure that the CAF is prepared to undertake missions for the protection of Canada and Canadians and the maintenance of international peace and stability.

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5 Authorities

Authority Table

5.1 The following table identifies the authorities associated with this DAOD:

The ... has or have the authority to …


  • issue policies, orders and directives for all calibration services; and
  • establish the framework for the Calibration Programme.

level one advisors (L1s) whose organizations use TMDE

  • issue orders, directives and instructions regarding the use of TMDE in their organizations, within the framework established by the Calibration Programme; and
  • purchase TMDE in consultation with the calibration authority.

QETE Superintendent

  • direct all aspects of calibration for the DND and the CAF, including the provision of calibration services of approved TMDE used by L1 organizations;
  • certify TMDE calibration standards;
  • establish technical requirements and procedures for the Calibration Programme;
  • designate the calibration authority to manage the Calibration Programme; and
  • establish appropriate calibration services to meet the needs of the DND and the CAF, including the authorization of calibration and repair services at designated facilities.

calibration authority

  • exercise functional responsibility for DND and CAF calibration centres.

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6. References

Acts, Regulations, Central Agency Policies and Policy DAOD

Other References

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