Often consumers search for “certified scales” and they get lumped together with legal for trade NTEP Approved scales. Technically, a scale can be NTEP approved legal for trade and not be “certified”. Often times, the proper procedure for obtaining a “certified scale” is to do the following.
1. Buy a NTEP Approved Legal for Trade Scale. In most cases, you do not receive any paperwork saying your scale is “certified”. All you receive is your scale, with the certificate of conformance number (CoC#) stamped on the side of the scale.
2. Have the scale checked and calibrated in your store or at your produce stand, in other words in its final working location — by either a local scale company or the state weights & measures. At this point, in most cases, you receive paperwork showing the test results.
3. Have the state weights & measures come by and “certify” your scale and place their sticker on the scale.
So as you can see, in most cases you can search for and buy “certified scales” but they aren’t quite certified until you do a little homework upon receiving your scale. The reason for this is simple. A scale can be NTEP approved and have a CoC# but that doesn’t mean it is 100 percent accurate. Perhaps the scale was calibrated in a different region of the country and gravity has changed just enough to throw the calibration off. Suppose the delivery company decided to use your scale as a football? That can very easily throw off the calibration of a scale. That is why it is always a good idea to buy your NTEP Approved “certified scale” and get it checked and calibrated locally to ensure you comply with your state regulations.