To operate a public weighbridge, you require a Certificate of Competence issued by the Chief Inspector for Weights and Measures for your local authority.

Eligibility Criteria

Operators of public weighing equipment have a responsibility to ensure that they can perform their duties competently and honestly. No-one may operate public weighing equipment unless he/she holds a certificate from a Chief Inspector of Weights and Measures. To operate a public weighbridge the operator must have sufficient knowledge for the proper performance of his/her duties including basic numeracy skills.  Anyone applying for a certificate must pass a verbal and practical test to show they can:

  • Operate the weighbridge satisfactorily and complete any weighbridge tickets and associated documentation
  • Understand the basic terms associated with the operation of the weighbridge
  • Identify potential frauds which may unknowingly be assisted by a weighbridge operator
  • Understand the importance of accuracy when operating a weighbridge by performing simple arithmetic (use of a calculator is permitted)

Regulation Summary

Section 18 of the Weights and Measures Act 1985 states that the operators of public weighing equipment must hold a certificate of competence from a Chief Inspector of Weights and Measures.
Section 19 states that operators:

  • must carry out a weighing if requested unless they have reasonable cause not to do so
  • must carry out the weighing fairly
  • must give the person requiring the weighing a written statement of the weight found
  • must make a record detailing the time, date and particulars identifying the vehicle and the load on the vehicle
  • must not make a false record or a false statement
  • must not commit any fraud

It also states that:

  • anyone bringing an item to be weighed must, if requested, give their name and address to the weighbridge operator
  • records of weighing must be retained for 2 years
  • records must not be destroyed or defaced within 2 years

Application Evaluation Process

Once your completed application is received, the City Council will send an Inspector of Weights and Measures to carry out the verbal test.  Once satisfied a certificate of competence will be issued within 7 days.

How Long Will It Take to Process My Application?

If we have not contacted you to make arrangements to complete an inspection within 14 days of your application, please contact us to check that your application was correctly made and received.

The City of Newcastle upon Tyne will endeavour to issue a Certificate of Competency for a Public Weighbridge Operator within a period of 28 days, however if we have been unable to determine your application in this time a Certificate will not be automatically granted due to weights and measures and road traffic implications.

How to apply

Please complete and submit an Application Form (pdf, 317 kb) for a Public Weighbridge Operators Certificate.

You can also request an application form by emailing: or phoning 0191 2116121

Right of appeal

Any person aggrieved by a refusal to be granted a Public Weighbridge Operators Certificate by a Chief Inspector of Weights may appeal against the refusal to the Secretary of State, who may if he/she thinks fit direct the Chief Inspector to grant the Certificate.

Useful Links

A copy of the Weights and Measures Act 1985 and related legislation can be viewed at the Trading Standards Service, Civic Centre, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 8QH where you may also obtain an application form and further help or advice.

Copies of the legislation mentioned on this page can be purchased from Her Majesty's Stationery Office or can be accessed at OPSI

This information has no legal force and is not an authoritative interpretation of the law, which is a matter for the Courts. It is intended to help businesses to understand in general terms, the main features of the legislation. The information is not a substitute for the legislation and you should refer to the text of the legislation for a full statement of legal requirements and obligations. Where appropriate, you should seek your own independent legal advice.

Contact Details

For further information or clarification please contact the: Chief Inspector of Weights and Measures, Trading Standards Service, Directorate of Operations and Regulatory Services, City of Newcastle upon Tyne, Civic Centre, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 8QH.
Phone 0191 2116121

Page last updated: 
30 August 2018
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