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Certification of a public weighbridge operator

To operate a public weighbridge, you require a certificate of competence issued by the Chief Inspector for weights and measures.

Certificate summary

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 eg 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. 

Eligibility criteria

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.

 Applicants will be required to show that they can: 

  • operate the weighbridge satisfactorily
  • complete any weighbridge tickets and associated documentation satisfactorily
  • understand basic terms associated with the operation of a weighbridge
  • understand their duties as a weighbridge operator
  • understand potential frauds which may unknowingly be assisted by a weighbridge operator
  • understand how the accuracy of the weighbridge may be affected
  • perform simple arithmetic (use of a calculator is permitted)

Applicants should study the following topics as these will form the basis of the Inspector's test.

Regulation summary 

Application evaluation process

There is no provision in the relevant legislation.

How to apply for a certificate

Before applying for a test, applicants should ensure that they have received sufficient training in the operation of the equipment. Once an applicant is ready to be tested, he/she must complete an application form.

Apply online     EU logo (small) : This link opens in a new window

An online application will require you to register with Business Link, an 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 (small)  Help is provided about online applications.

Application form

Apply now

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.

Target completion period

  • The processing time for an application for a public weighbridge operator's certificate is ten working days.

What happens if your application is not processed by the local authority within the timescales stated?

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.


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 six months imprisonment or both. Some offences have a maximum penalty of a fine up to £2,000 only.

Failed application redress

Please contact your Trading Standards Service in the first instance.

You may appeal to the National Measurement Office if your application is refused.

Certificate holder redress

Please contact London Borough of Hillingdon in the first instance.

Consumer complaint

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.

Other redress

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.

Trade associations

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Article utilities:  Bookmark and Share Print Print this page Last updated: 22 Feb 2017 at 09:40