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Revised Standard Practice Certifies Concrete Laboratories, Personnel and Equipment

Since its original publication in 1987, ASTM C 1077, Standard Practice for Laboratories Testing Concrete and Concrete Aggregates for Use in Construction and Criteria for Laboratory Evaluation, has been used to judge the quality of laboratories testing concrete. The standard defines the qualifications of personnel, the control of equipment used in testing, and the establishment of a quality assurance program within the laboratory.

Many designers and owners require laboratories to meet the criteria of C 1077 for specific projects; agencies use the standard to accredit laboratories that test concrete and aggregates.

This year, ASTM Subcommittee C09.98 on Evaluation of Laboratories within Committee C09 on Concrete and Concrete Aggregates released a major revision to C 1077. “The revised standard will now place a requirement on all technicians working in the laboratory to be certified by either ACI (American Concrete Institute) or NICET (National Institute for Certification of Engineering Technicians),” said Robert S. Jenkins, corporate consultant, Law Engineering and Environmental Services, Inc., Atlanta, Ga., and subcommittee chair.

To define this certification, a task force led by Ray Kolos, manager, Laboratory Inspections, CCRL (Cement and Concrete Reference Laboratory) of ACI and NIST, drafted a C 1077 revision that under went numerous subcommittee ballots. “Members of the subcommittee, which include representatives of testing laboratories, government agencies, concrete producers, and general interest consultants,” said Jenkins, “have had definite opinions of the technician-certifications requirements and have voiced these opinions during our discussions. The prior versions of the standard only required the technicians to demonstrate competency to perform a test procedure. There were no requirements for certification.

“During our discussions,” he continued, “we debated the merits of both ACI and NICET certification programs and, although we agreed the two programs were not equal, the consensus of the subcommittee felt they were good alternatives for technician certification.

“There have always been equal camps of ACI and NICET supporters in the subcommittee during our prolonged discussions,” he explained. “It was felt that if a technician made an effort to be certified by either program, they have demonstrated a desire to be tested and evaluated on their knowledge of relevant test methods. For either certification program, the person must study the written standards and perform the tests correctly.”

Technical questions may be directed to Robert S. Jenkins, P. E., Law Engineering and Environmental Services, Inc., 396 Plasters Ave., N.E., Atlanta, Georgia 30324-3951 (404/817-0203; fax: 404/872-5927). Committee C09 meets in June 2001 in Phoenix, Arizona. For meeting or membership details, contact Staff Manager Jim Olshefsky, ASTM (610/832-9714). //

Copyright 2000, ASTM