To operate a public weighbridge, you require a certificate of competence issued by the Chief Inspector for Weights and Measures.
Anyone wishing to obtain a Certificate should contact the Trading Standards Service. The name of the person to be certificated, the address of the weighbridge to be used and the type of weighbridge must be given. Arrangements will then be made for the applicant to sit an informal test. Successful applicants will be issued with a Public Weighbridge Operators Certificate. This is not transferable to another person and will only be valid for the weighbridge type(s) for which the person was tested.
Weighbridge operators must ensure that any weighbridge documentation e.g. the tickets, is in a suitable form to allow the attendant to give written statements as required by weights and measures legislation. An Operator is also responsible for retaining weighing records for two years and for their production to Trading Standards Officers (Inspectors of Weights and Measures).
Failure to do so, together with wilful destruction or defacement within that period, are offences which can be committed by you.
Operators of public weighing equipment have responsibilities to ensure that they can perform their duties competently and honestly. Further, no one may operate public weighing equipment unless he/she holds a certificate from a Chief Trading Standards Officer.
An Inspector will give applicants a short verbal and practical test for a certificate. This includes the ability to subtract tare weights from gross weights correctly. The questions are designed to demonstrate that an applicant has a practical working knowledge of the use of the equipment. Applicants will be required to show that they can:
Applicants should study the following topics as these will form the basis of the Inspector's test:
A public weighbridge operator must comply with these legal requirements. Failure to do so may result in court proceedings. The current penalty is a fine of up to £5,000 or 6 months imprisonment or both. Some offences have a maximum penalty of a fine up to £2,000 only.
There is no provision in the relevant legislation.
If you act as a public weighbridge operator and you are not certified as being competent to carry out that function, you will commit an offence under the Weights and Measures Act 1985. For that reason, it is in the public interest that the Local Authority must process your application before it can grant a certificate of proficiency. If we have not contacted you by the end of the target completion period, please get in touch with us. You can do this online if you applied through Business Link or contact the Trading Standards Service.
We will process your application as quickly as possible and, in any event, within the following timescales:
Application for a public weighbridge operator's certificate
10 working days
Before applying for a test, applicants should ensure that they have received sufficient training in the operation of the equipment. Associated notes for guidance can be found at:
Once an applicant is ready to be tested, he/she must complete an application form.
An online application will require you to register with Business Link - a quick, easy process that gives you an online account that you can use across different government services.
We aim to acknowledge your application within three working days. If you have applied online we will acknowledge your application via e-mail.
Help is provided about online applications.
It is the policy of this authority to limit the scope of any certificate to the weighbridge that the operator will be expected to use. Should the weighbridge be replaced or changed, a new certificate will be required.
Please contact your Trading Standards Service in the first instance.
You may appeal to the National Measurement Office if your application is refused.
Please contact your Local Authority in the first instance.
We would always advise that in the event of a complaint, you make the first contact with the trader - preferably in the form a letter (with proof of delivery). If that has not worked and you are located in the UK, Citizens Advice consumer service will give you advice. From outside the UK contact the UK European Consumer Centre.
Should you need to complain about, for example, noise, pollution, etc. or should one licence holder have cause to complain about another - please contact the council's contact centre in the first instance.