DAOD 3036-1, Calibration Programme

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Definitions
  3. Operating Principles
  4. Compliance and Consequences
  5. Responsibilities
  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).


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 calibration 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)

calibration interval (intervalle d’étalonnage)

The frequency of calibrations for an instrument expressed as the period of time during which the metrological properties of the instrument are expected to remain constant and produce measurements within specified tolerances. (Defence Terminology Bank record number 695751)

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)

traceability (traçabilité)

A property of a measurement result by which the result can be related to the International System of Units through a documented unbroken chain of calibration measurements, including individual measurement uncertainty, each contributing to the total measurement uncertainty. (Defence Terminology Bank record number 695757)

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. Operating Principles


3.1 This DAOD sets out the specifications, conditions and standards applicable to the Calibration Programme for the DND and the CAF. The Calibration Programme has been developed to provide calibration services for the DND and the CAF to ensure the operational effectiveness of platforms, weapons systems and equipment, and meet the requirements of naval materiel assurance, land materiel assurance and airworthiness.

3.2 QETE is responsible for all aspects of the Calibration Programme, including the calibration of approved test, measurement and diagnostic equipment (TMDE) used by level one advisor (L1) organizations. This responsibility is carried out by the calibration authority designated by the QETE Superintendent.

Calibration Services to External Organizations

3.3 Under the Calibration Programme, calibration services may be provided to other government departments and organizations. However, calibration services must not be provided to sustain a recurring industry or private sector need if the provision of services places the DND or the CAF in competition with private industry. See paragraph 23 in B-GS-055-000/AG-001, Provision of Services.


3.4 All calibrations for the DND and the CAF must be traceable to the International System of Units and verified against one of the following standards:

  1. a national standard fixing a value for all like standards and maintained by a national metrology institute (e.g. National Research Council Canada);
  2. a national standard of an agency of a country that is a member of the International Committee for Weights and Measures;
  3. a reference standard used for reference purposes or to transfer a value from a primary standards laboratory to a calibration centre;
  4. a working standard used by a calibration centre primarily to calibrate TDME; or
  5. a user standard used by bases, wings, ships or other units primarily to provide verification of TDME.

Management of Calibration

3.5 Calibration must be performed by trained, competent personnel at facilities authorized to perform calibration services. Authorized facilities may be DND and CAF calibration centres or commercial facilities. Calibrations may be performed on site for TMDE that:

  1. cannot be transported to a calibration centre;
  2. would result in invalid calibration results if transported due to sensitivity of the TDME; or
  3. is more economical to calibrate in location.

3.6 Under the Calibration Programme, the management of TMDE calibration must be controlled through the Defence Resource Management Information System (DRMIS). DND employees and CAF members responsible for TDME must ensure that TDME:

  1. is certified by the manufacturer and accompanied by a calibration certificate unless otherwise authorized by the calibration authority;
  2. is registered in DRMIS before being placed into service, with materiel management completed in accordance with A-LM-007-100/AG-001, Supply Administration Manual;
  3. has a calibration procedure established by a technical authority and approved by the calibration authority in accordance with the technical requirements established by the manufacturer;
  4. has a prescribed calibration interval set by the calibration authority in accordance with its design, operational environment and proven long-term stability, with calibration interval deviations allowed:
    1. in advance of the calibration expiry date to meet mission support timelines or as deemed necessary for maintenance requirements; and
    2. for extensions as authorized by the calibration authority based on equipment performance;
  5. is assessed when found to be out of tolerance in order to determine the cause, and reported immediately to the applicable unit calibration coordinator to investigate and report on all products affected in accordance with their own quality assurance programs;
  6. has a record of all calibrations and repairs conducted, with traceability to the International System of Units for audit and investigation purposes;
  7. is calibrated, following repair, prior to return to service; and
  8. is disposed of in accordance with the DAOD 3013-0, Disposal of Materiel.

Repair of TDME

3.7 L1 organizations must fund repairs of their TDME and coordinate the repairs with the calibration authority.

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4. Compliance and Consequences


4.1 DND employees and CAF members must comply with this DAOD. Should clarification of the policies or instructions 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. Managers and military supervisors have the primary responsibility for and means of ensuring the compliance of their DND employees and CAF members with this DAOD.

Consequences of Non-Compliance

4.2 DND employees and CAF members are accountable to their respective managers and military supervisors for any failure to comply with the direction set out in this DAOD. Non‑compliance with this DAOD may have consequences for both the DND and the CAF as institutions, and for DND employees and CAF members as individuals. Suspected non‑compliance may be investigated. Managers and military supervisors must take or direct appropriate corrective measures if non-compliance with this DAOD has consequences for the DND or the CAF. The decision of an L1 or other senior official to take action or to intervene in a case of non-compliance, other than in respect of a decision under the Code of Service Discipline regarding a CAF member, will depend on the degree of risk based on the impact and likelihood of an adverse outcome resulting from the non-compliance and other circumstances of the case.

4.3 The nature and severity of the consequences resulting from non-compliance should be commensurate with the circumstances of the non-compliance and other relevant circumstances. Consequences of non-compliance may include one or more of the following:

  1. the ordering of the completion of appropriate learning, training or professional development;
  2. the entering of observations in individual performance evaluations;
  3. increased reporting and performance monitoring;
  4. the withdrawal of any authority provided under this DAOD to a DND employee or CAF member;
  5. the reporting of suspected offences to responsible law enforcement agencies;
  6. the application of specific consequences as set out in applicable laws, codes of conduct, and DND and CAF policies and instructions;
  7. other administrative action, including the imposition of disciplinary measures, for a DND employee;
  8. other administrative or disciplinary action, or both, for a CAF member; and
  9. the imposition of liability on the part of Her Majesty in right of Canada, DND employees and CAF members.

Note – In respect of the compliance of DND employees, see the Treasury Board Framework for the Management of Compliance for additional information.

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5. Responsibilities

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

The or a …
is or are responsible for …

L1s whose organizations use TMDE

  • consulting with the calibration authority to:
    • coordinate calibration requirements on all projects or sustainment initiatives if calibration requirements may be required or modified; and
    • carry out any purchase of TMDE;
  • providing forecast calibration requirements and funding for TMDE;
  • providing funding, and forecast funding requirements, for the life cycle materiel management of their TMDE, including repairs; and
  • ensuring all TMDE within their area of responsibility receive periodic calibration.

QETE Superintendent

  • managing the Calibration Programme;
  • maintaining a primary standards laboratory for the DND and the CAF; and
  • ensuring appropriate calibration services are established to meet the needs of the Calibration Programme.

base commanders and commanding officers of calibration centres

  • managing the facilities used by calibration centres;
  • providing efficient calibration services to all units and other elements within their area of responsibility; and
  • providing logistical and support services for calibration centres.

unit commanding officers

  • identifying a unit calibration coordinator;
  • consulting with the calibration authority on the purchase of TMDE and ensuring that a calibration certificate or record is provided with new TDME;
  • ensuring the proper care, use, handling and cleanliness of TDME;
  • ensuring TMDE is submitted for calibration services, as scheduled by the calibration authority, to meet mission support timelines or as necessary for maintenance requirements;
  • removing TMDE from service if the calibration certificate or calibration interval has expired; and
  • removing TMDE from the Calibration Programme if the TDME is no longer required or disposal has occurred.
calibration authority
  • formulating technical requirements and procedures for the Calibration Programme;
  • managing the efficient provision of calibration services by calibration centres and commercial facilities;
  • administering calibration contracts for authorized TMDE;
  • determining calibration intervals and establishing permissible deviations if appropriate;
  • coordinating the repair of TMDE;
  • identifying funding requirements to support the Calibration Programme;
  • coordinating the funding of TMDE with L1s;
  • ensuring that trained, competent personnel perform calibrations at calibration centres;
  • managing calibration training for DND employees and CAF members;
  • providing advice on the calibration services of calibration centres; and
  • monitoring the Calibration Programme to ensure:
    • compliance by units and other elements using TDME;
    • efficiency and effectiveness of calibration services and authorized facilities; and
    • evaluation of anomalies presented in calibration results.
calibration centre managers
  • managing the operation of their calibration centre;
  • providing efficient calibration and repair services as designated by the calibration authority;
  • ensuring that trained, competent personnel perform calibrations;
  • providing advice to the calibration authority of any forecasted calibration requirements; and
  • monitoring the Calibration Programme to ensure:
    • compliance by units and other elements using TDME in their area of responsibility;
    • efficiency and effectiveness of calibration services and their calibration centre; and
    • evaluation of anomalies presented in calibration results.
unit calibration coordinators
  • administering TMDE recall on behalf of the calibration authority;
  • coordinating the transfer of TMDE from user sections to the calibration facility and its return;
  • coordinating on site calibrations;
  • arranging for priority calibrations as required; and
  • ensuring all TMDE is submitted in a clean, operable condition and accompanied by all accessories essential for calibration.

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6. References

Acts, Regulations, Central Agency Policies and Policy DAOD

Other References

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