TS–018 Specifications for a ‘Mass Standards Cradle’

This policy details the specifications a ‘Mass Standards Cradle’ has to meet in order to be issued with a verification certificate and to be deemed a working standard.


Trading Standards recognises that a cradle can be used to hold Working Standards of mass to make the handling of a large number of masses safer and more convenient. Trading Standards supports this practice and provides the following guidelines and conditions of use.

Design guidelines:

  • A cradle should be made of a rigid stable material e.g. hollow box section or angle iron, and be sufficiently strong to withstand normal wear and tear
  • The cradle should bear a unique identification
  • The cradle should be designed and built to prevent any areas that could accumulate dirt or debris and cause the cradle to alter its weight
  • A cradle may be fitted with lifting eyes, holes for slinging , or skids for forklift handling
  • If any shackles etc. are fitted, they must be welded across the ends to make them non-removable as they become part of the weight of the cradle
  • Any cradle must be built with an adjusting chamber that is capable of holding enough adjustment material to bring the cradle to the required nominal weight and the chamber must be able to be sealed once adjusted
  • Cradles must be built to a nominal weight that is a whole number, e.g. 40 kg, 60 kg, 120 kg

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A cradle that is submitted to Trading Standards and is deemed not to comply with the design guidelines above will not be tested and approved as a Working Standard.

Conditions of use:

  • Cradles will be tested, stamped / sealed and issued with a Verification report by Trading Standards
  • Cradles should be listed in the Quality Management System for the accredited organisation, under Clause 5 ‘Resources’ and / or Clause 12 ‘Working standards and test equipment’, as per the Schedule 7 of the Weights and Measures Regulations 1999
  • Cradles must not be used independently without masses
  • Cradles must be recorded as a resource on a test sheet when used by an Accredited Person, as per Technical Policy TS - 002.

Technical Policy TS - 002 Information required on an Accredited Persons test sheet

Trade Measurement — Technical Policy

Policy number: TS - 018
Effective date: July 2016
Version date: December 2019
Version number: 2
Policy name: Specifications for a ‘Mass Standards Cradle’
Reviewed by: Davis White, Legal Metrology Advisor and Senior Trading Standards Officer
Approved by: Phil Sorrell, Team Leader Compliance and Inspection