Measurement standards are used for the representation and the realisation of measurement units, respectively. These are either material measures (e.g. kilogram prototype for mass) or elementary procedures to realize or reproduce the designated measurement unit. Examples are the atomic characteristics of caesium atoms as basis for the unit of time (atomic clock) and the Josephson effect as basis for the unit of electrical voltage. BEV develops and maintains the mandatory national measurement standards in Austria.
Since measurements should be comparable and accepted worldwide the national standards are periodically compared at the international level.