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Level 1 Certification

The Level 1 Certificate provides a qualification for engineers and technicians involved in the installation of strain gauges. It shows that the holder has demonstrated a high level of skill in making strain gauge installations, and can install gauges that can be used with confidence to make accurate and reliable measurements.

Corresponding details of the the Level 2 and Level 3 examinations can be found on the Training and Certification main page, and full details of the scheme are given in the Certification document. 

All courses can be taken independently and taking an exam is optional.

A list of upcoming examinations and courses are listed on the Training & Certification Events page.

Entry Requirements

To be eligible to take the Level 1 exam, candidates must have received appropriate training and have the relevant experience. This should include a 2 day course, such as those run by BSSM Corporate members or other reputable strain gauge suppliers, and have had 2 months of practical experience that includes installations of the type covered by the examination. Candidates should be familiar with the recommendations of the Code of Practice.

For details of training courses run by BSSM Corporate Members, please contact

All candidates are strongly advised to attend the pre-examination seminar.

For Level 1 Certification these are: 

2 days TRAINING  and 2 months EXPERIENCE

It is not necessary to obtain equal experience of installation, supervision and measurement.


All new candidates for the pre-exam seminar and examination must register and provide details of training and experience. The type of installation or installations chosen for the examination must be stated clearly on the form.  ​Supporting evidence such as a copy of a certificate should be attached.

Pre-exam Seminar
A one-day pre-exam seminar is held about two weeks before each examination.  This enables candidates to carry out installations under examination conditions and discuss procedures and techniques with an experienced engineer. Candidates can also see sample written test questions. The pre-exam seminar is usually held at the same venue as the examination.

The objective of the examination is to enable candidates to demonstrate that they use procedures consistent with the Code of Practice, and are able to install gauges to BSSM standards.

The examination is divided into two parts:

  • A practical test

  • A short written test

The practical test forms the main part of the examination, and for this the candidates must choose one of the two standard installations to complete:

(a) Foil gauge for quarter-bridge operation at a temperature between 0°C and 50°C.
(b) Full bridge of foil gauges for long life at a temperature between 0°C and 50°C.

There are also options to be examined in additional installations without doing further written tests, including:

(c) Foil gauge(s) for quarter-bridge or half-bridge operation at a temperature between -200°C and 250°C.
(d) Gauges for operation at temperatures above 250°C.

Details of each installation can be found in the Level 1 Certification Scheme document.

If successful, separate certificates will be issued for each installation. 

The written test contains 20 multiple choice questions, based on general knowledge related to strain measurement and points which can arise during an installation. Candidates who take a second practical test will not be required to take a second written test

Registration forms must be received by the BSSM office at least 5 weeks before the date of the examination, and registrations are confirmed after a review by the Chairman of the Certification Committee. Each registered candidate is then provided with a copy of the Code of Practice, Installation Record Sheets, a sample practical examination paper, a sample written paper, and the bank of questions for the written examination.

Renewal of Certification
The award is valid for 5 years.

At the end of the 5 year period candidates must take a practical test to renew their certification, corresponding to the installations for which they hold certificates, and submit a review of their recent gauge installation experience.

Candidates will normally do the tasks at their workplace, under the supervision of a senior colleague, who will be required to confirm the candidate’s experience and that the renewal tasks were done by the candidate. There is no limit on the time taken to do the tasks.

A BSSM examiner will assess the test samples and documentation, and note the type of work normally undertaken.

Documents and Forms

Code of Practice for the Installation of Electrical Resistance Strain Gauges
Certification of Strain Measurement Personnel
Level 1 - Details of Certification Scheme

Candidates are expected to observe the Code of Practice and use it in conjunction with the instruction sheets provided by gauge manufacturers and suppliers. The Society also publishes Installation Record Sheets; copies are provided for use during the examination.

BSSM Corporate Members offering Level 1 Training

  • Vishay Precision Group, Basingstoke
  • Data Acquisition and Testing Services, Long Eaton
  • Nprime, Sheffield
  • HBK, Bedford
For further information please contact

2024 Prices

Level 1 
Pre-exam seminar £375
Exam £610
Exam (2 installation types) £735
Renewal £375

Level 2
Pre-exam seminar £375
Exam £860
Renewal £375

Level 3
Pre-exam seminar £460
Exam £1000
Renewal £375

Strain Analysis using Resistance Strain Gauges course £1730
Stress Analysis & Load Measurement course £1410

All prices ex VAT

Continued Professional Development (CPD) for Early Careers

The BSSM is ahead of the game when it comes to encouraging early career development. We offer membership, courses, competitions, conferences and networking opportunities in a relaxed and friendly environment. 

Training & Certification

Our courses include Stress Analysis and Load Measurement, Strain Analysis, Certification Seminars and Exams.

In addition we offer tailor made courses to suit your specific needs and run these at your company premises

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