The Asphalt Technician Certification Program in Colorado is one of four programs offered by the Rocky Mountain Asphalt Education Center located in Englewood, Colorado. Established in 1996, the Laboratory for Certification of Asphalt Technicians (LabCAT) is operated by the Colorado Asphalt Pavement Association in a partnership effort with the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) and the Federal Highway Administration. The LabCAT was developed to increase the proficiency of testing technicians and respond to the Federal requirements of having qualified technicians performing sampling and testing on Federal-Aid Projects. The objective of the LabCAT is to certify technicians directly involved with identifying the properties of the final asphalt product in any Quality Control/Quality Assurance (QC/QA) program.
Four certification levels have been established for Asphalt Construction Technicians based on material tests on typical paving projects. The certification is valid for a three-year period. The certification levels are: Level A-Laydown; Level AB-Laydown and Asphalt Plant Materials Control; Level C-Mixture Volumetrics and Hveem Stability; and Level D-Smoothness. A new level of certification is currently under development. Titled “Level E-Aggregate Technician Certification,” this level will have the same structure as the existing program levels but will be based on the Superpave aggregate testing protocols.
As of November 1998, 419 Asphalt Construction Technicians have attended one or more of the certification levels at the LabCAT. Initially, the certifications were based upon the standard written Colorado Department of Transportation Procedures (CP or CP-Laboratory). In anticipation of regional reciprocity in asphalt technician certification and certification of City and County personnel, in 1998 the program was modified to certify technicians based upon the AASHTO Standard Specifications for Transportation Materials and Methods of Sampling and Testing with appropriate references to the CDOT Field Materials Manual and the CDOT Laboratory Manual of Test Procedures.