ISO/TS 21749:2005 follows the approach taken in the Guide to the expression of the uncertainty of measurement (GUM) and establishes the basic structure for stating and combining components of uncertainty. To this basic structure, it adds a statistical framework using the analysis of variance (ANOVA) for estimating individual components, particularly those classified as Type A evaluations of uncertainty, i.e. based on the use of statistical methods. A short description of Type B evaluations of uncertainty (non-statistical) is included for completeness.
ISO/TS 21749:2005 covers experimental situations where the components of uncertainty can be estimated from statistical analysis of repeated measurements, instruments, test items or check standards.
It provides methods for obtaining uncertainties from single-, two- and three-level nested designs only. More complicated experimental situations where, for example, there is interaction between operator effects and instrument effects or a cross effect, are not covered.
ISO/TS 21749:2005 is not applicable to measurements that cannot be replicated, such as destructive measurements or measurements on dynamically varying systems (such as fluid flow, electronic currents or telecommunications systems). It is not particularly directed to the certification of reference materials (particularly chemical substances) and to calibrations where artefacts are compared using a scheme known as a "weighing design". For certification of reference materials, see ISO Guide 35.
When results from interlaboratory studies can be used, techniques are presented in the companion guide ISO/TS 21748. The main difference between ISO/TS 21748 and this Technical Specification is that the ISO/TS 21748 is concerned with reproducibility data (with the inevitable repeatability effects), whereas this Technical Specification concentrates on repeatability data and the use of the analysis of variance for its treatment.
ISO/TS 21749:2005 is applicable to a wide variety of measurements, for example, lengths, angles, voltages, resistances, masses and densities.