Volume 24, Issue 1 (January 1996)
Development and Application of a Quality System Standard for Construction Materials Testing Laboratories
The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) Accreditation Program (AAP) was initiated by AASHTO in 1988 as a tool for promoting the quality of testing in construction materials laboratories. The program currently has around 120 laboratories accredited for testing of various construction materials. In the program it became apparent that there was a need to provide specific guidance to laboratories in preparing and implementing a quality system. In response, AASHTO prepared Recommended Practice R18-92I, “Establishing and Implementing a Quality System for Construction Materials Testing Laboratories.” While generally based on existing ASTM and International Standards Organization (ISO) standards, Practice R18 is much more definitive in regard to evaluation criteria for construction materials laboratories. It includes an appendix that provides illustrated examples of documents, forms, and standard operating procedures, which may be used by the laboratory in preparing a quality manual. Practice R18 has been adopted for use in the AASHTO Materials Reference Laboratory (AMRL) Laboratory Inspection Program, and became mandatory for laboratories participating in the AASHTO Accreditation Program in April 1994. This paper presents an overview of Practice R18 and its use in the AMRL Laboratory Inspection Program and the AASHTO Accreditation Program.