Working here

NPL as a working environment 

Our success comes from attracting energetic and imaginative people who share our values. We are proud to be a world-class organisation doing exceptional science, and to have an atmosphere of support and collaboration. At every level, in every area of our business, we seek to nurture and respect our people. Together, we support each other to grow, succeed and enjoy work.

“The best thing about working at NPL is the opportunity to work on a broad range of projects of direct relevance to UK innovation and quality of life. Every day is different, solving a variety of challenges in world-class facilities”.
Natalie Belsey - Senior Research Scientist

NPL is a unique place to work. Our culture mixes elements of academia, industry and commerce to create a working environment all of our own.

The total team numbers around 900 and growing. You’ll find scientists and engineers from all over the world in our labs – as well as a wide range of commercial and operational specialists. Across the organisation, there’s a very collegiate, co-operative feel to the way we work.

The sense of community extends to time outside work. We have a thriving sports and social club, with activities like yoga, cricket, boardgaming, football, tennis and mindfulness. NPL even has its own wine society and a choir.

NPL’s aims

Creating impact from science and engineering

The National Physical Laboratory (NPL) is a world-leading centre of excellence that provides cutting-edge measurement science, engineering and technology to underpin prosperity and quality of life in the UK.

Our science helps save lives, protect the environment and enable citizens to feel safe and secure. For over a century, we have worked with industry to encourage innovation and translate scientific expertise into economic prosperity, skilled employment and improved quality of life.

In this digital age, our world-leading measurement science provides confidence in data and enables innovation and international trade to flourish. We develop the metrology required to ensure the timely and successful deployment of new technologies.


Our values are the common thread that shapes the way we work with each other and our clients, how we celebrate success and how we go about achieving our mission to provide the measurement capability that underpins the UK’s prosperity and quality of life.

They form part of the recruitment and selection process; you can expect that we will ask you competency-based questions in interviews, specifically linked to our values. We use them to shape many of the ways in which we interact, including how we provide feedback to each other, how we develop people and what we celebrate.

We recognise and celebrate our employees, either as individuals or teams, who are living our values through outstanding behaviour and achievements.

Employees may be awarded:

  • On-the-spot thanks - these are a ‘thank you’ to an individual or team to recognise a great job, a particular project or a behaviour that exemplifies our values.
  • Our values awards - these reward employees whose contribution and/or behaviour is exceptional in the context of our values. This might occur over a sustained period or could be a one-off.

"Our values express the behaviours we want to encourage and celebrate here at NPL, they prompt us when we are interacting with others, when we are thinking about the new science we want to undertake and when we’re getting involved in new ventures."

Peter Thompson - NPL CEO

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