We are ISO 9001:2008 certified and have a manufacturing and assembly business. We utilize tape measures throughout our business as the products we produce do not have overall dimensions that are critical. The tape measures we use are more for reference. We label the tape measures as such, but because they are frequently replaced have been sited on past audits for not having tape measures labeled. I know we can purchase certified tape measures but wondered if any other industry has similar situation. We probably have 30 - 40 tape measures throughout our process.
I had a similar situation. We used tape measures because the product was very long and not critical. The shop was ISO certified. In our quality policy it was stated that with tape measures there was "no cal required". But we also had a standard we checked them against before use. The standard was simply a good 24 inch scale that was calibrated. These are cheap enough and can be placed in convenient locations if you have a large facility. You can even mount them to a wall or piece of equipment for ease of use. I think we had 3 or 4 of them designated for this.
Operators were trained to check the tape against the scale before use. Not every time they picked it up. But at least one time a day. The tape measures also had a "no cal required" sticker on them. I know you replace many tape measures but if your receiving department is trained to deliver any tape measures or measuring tools to QC before they are released to the shop floor your QC department would be able to label the tapes and release them for use throughout the facility.
Unfortunately with ISO comes some things that we do not like to do. I know you probably heard this before but ISO is basically, say what you do and do what you say. But if the operators are trained and tools in the proper places they will get the hang of it.
FYI: I hate audits.