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"Nobody ever questions us when we submit our accreditations for a project based on procedures, proficiency sampling or lab audits. It gives us a good feeling that every time we do an audit, it will meet the minimum standards that are accepted in the Northeast."


Atlantic Testing Laboratories

Scott McCasland, CWI, Vice President, Quality

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50 years of experience
3,000+
PSP participants
23,000+
samples shipped per year
1,000
laboratory assessments per year
1,900+
accredited labs







AASHTO Accreditation Documents

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  • A Beginner’s Guide to AASHTO Accreditation

    I get asked a lot of questions about all of our programs. Some of the most commonly asked questions are regarding the AASHTO Accreditation Program (AAP). This is understandable, as it can seem like a daunting task for a new laboratory to get the accreditation process started.
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  • A Day in the Life of a Quality Analyst

    In 2010, I wrote “A Day in the Life of an Assessor” about what it was like to be an AASHTO re:source Assessor on the road. Almost 4 years later, as a Quality Analyst (QA), I spend most of my time in the office working with laboratories in the AASHTO Accreditation Program (AAP).
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  • Changes to the AASHTO Accreditation Program

    You may have noticed that our program has undergone quite a few changes over the last year. We have modified some of our operations in an attempt to keep up with customer expectations and to ensure we remain a trusted and reliable source of accreditation services in the construction materials industry.
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  • Evaluating Competency: How do you measure up?

    Raise your hand if you’ve received a nonconformity related to training and competency evaluations. Good. The first step is admitting it. Whether the finding has been minor and easily resolved, or it has required you to revamp your entire training and competency evaluation program, just about everyone has been there before. When it comes to the array of requirements, options, and best practices, there can be a lot of confusion about what you are supposed to be doing. AASHTO R 18 and ASTM quality system standards such as, C1077, D3666, and E329 can all have differently worded requirements, which can add more confusion to the issue. This article will help hone your understanding of documenting competence and interpreting the requirements of quality system standards.
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  • Get to the Root of the Problem: Root Cause Analysis (RCA) Explained

    Ever get tired of those pesky dandelions in your otherwise lush yard? The weeds are the obvious problem, but have you ever thought about the underlying, or “root,” cause? That might not be so obvious. In reality, there are usually multiple “roots” to most problems, even in the construction materials testing (CMT) industry.
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  • How to Publicize Your Laboratory's AASHTO Accreditation

    Participation in the AASHTO Accreditation Program (AAP) is a great way for you to show your laboratory’s commitment to quality. You can also use it to expand your commercial laboratory’s range of business opportunities. Being successful is about viability and visibility. You not only need to be the best, but you need to communicate it to potential customers. In this article, we will discuss some of the ways to publicize your laboratory’s AASHTO Accreditation.
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  • Maintaining AASHTO Accreditation, Maintaining Quality

    Being AASHTO accredited shows that your laboratory is serious about quality. However, the process isn’t over after AASHTO accreditation is initially granted. By maintaining accreditation, you are showing your continued commitment to excellence.
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  • New Tools for Specifiers: the Missing Piece of the Accreditation Puzzle

    A specifier is any entity that requires laboratory testing to be performed by an agency that participates in one or more of AASHTO re:source’s programs. Specifiers can include departments of transportation, local municipalities, or even corporate offices that manage several branch laboratories. Some of AASHTO re:source’s current specifiers include the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the California Division of the State Architect (DSA), and the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE). Being a specifier can be challenging, and requires constant review of ever-changing laboratory information, such as proficiency sample ratings or accreditation status. In the past, tracking information for one hundred, ten, or even three laboratories was a daunting task.
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  • Quality Corner: ISO/IEC 17025 Accreditation

    Did you know that AASHTO re:source offers on-site assessments and AASHTO offers accreditation for International Standard ISO/IEC 17025? You may have at least heard of this standard by now, but maybe you don't know much about it. The title of the standard is "General Requirements for the Competence of Testing and Calibration Laboratories." But how does that differ from AASHTO R 18, "Establishing and Implementing a Quality Management System for Construction Materials Testing Laboratories," which is the basis for accreditation through the AASHTO Accreditation Program (AAP)? How can a laboratory become accredited for ISO/IEC 17025? What are the benefits? Let's take a closer look.
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  • Selecting Competent Subcontractors and Vendors: What to Consider and How to Document It

    You should be proud that your laboratory has been through an on-site assessment and has completed the requirements of the AASHTO Accreditation Program. Once accreditation is granted, your laboratory’s accreditation status is available on-line from the Directory of AASHTO Accredited Labs. Your customers can view this accreditation listing and will likely use it as a method of determining whether or not you are competent to perform a given task. So, it makes sense that your laboratory also has a policy for ensuring the competency of the subcontractors and vendors that you use.
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  • Seven Steps for a "Perfect" On-Site Assessment

    We all realize that having a perfect on-site assessment is no small accomplishment. However, there are some rather simple steps your laboratory can take to ensure that the assessment runs smoothly and relatively error-free. The staff at AASHTO re:source understands what a special event the on-site assessment is for each of our customers, and that it can be an overwhelming process. The goal of this article is to give you a few pointers on preparing for your on-site assessment. Following these steps will help you get the most out of the assessment process and ensure that it runs as smoothly as possible.
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  • Suggestions Anyone? The ABC’s of Customer Feedback

    Ah the dreaded customer feedback request. Don’t you hate being bombarded with those everywhere you go? Restaurants, stores, hotels, on-line retailers, customer service reps, AASHTO re:source, etc. – the list never ends! I mean, do they even do anything with that information? Yes! Or at least they should.
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  • Technician Certification Requirements in ASTM Standards

    It has been over a year since we started to request technician certification information during a laboratory’s annual review for AASHTO accreditation rather than during the on-site assessment if the laboratory is accredited for ASTM C1077, D3666, D3740, or E329. This change was made to improve the consistency of our assessment of laboratory conformance to the ASTM quality system standards that require technician certifications. A consistent evaluation ensures that all AASHTO-accredited laboratories throughout the country are treated fairly and that our program can better meet the needs of the agencies that specify accreditation for these standards.
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  • The History of the AASHTO Accreditation Program

    The AASHTO Accreditation Program (AAP) was established in 1988 to provide a mechanism for formally recognizing the competency of testing laboratories to perform specific tests on construction materials. Some of you who know the history of the industry may be surprised that the AAP is so young because the AASHTO re:source and CCRL (Cement and Concrete Reference Laboratory) have been around much longer. In fact, the AASHTO re:source was founded in 1965 and the CCRL was established in 1929, as the Cement Reference Laboratory (CRL). The AASHTO re:source and CCRL are collectively known as the Construction Materials Reference Laboratories (CMRL).
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  • The Road to Developing an Effective Quality Management System – Part 2, Getting Started

    It's time to hit the road and get this QMS thing started! The first part of my series (Part 1 – Why Bother?) focused on the many benefits of developing and implementing an effective QMS. Let’s see where this road will take us next.
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  • The Road to Developing an Effective Quality Management System (QMS): Part 1 - Why Bother?

    Ease up on those brakes! Developing an effective QMS does require precious time and resources, but the benefits will far outweigh the work involved when the procedures and processes are followed and continually improved. An organization can benefit from developing and implementing an effective QMS in many ways. Here are some of the best:
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  • The Road to Developing an Effective Quality Management System (QMS): Part 3 – Finish What You Started

    ​Before we end this journey, let’s go over the road we’ve traveled thus far. In Part 1, you learned what a QMS is and some of the many benefits of having an effective QMS. I also discussed developing a quality policy statement and goals, and how a quality manual is the handbook to a QMS. In Part 2, I taught you how to get started with developing your QMS documentation, and you learned some tips to help ensure your documentation is effective. Now it’s time to head for the finish line! Along the way, I will be taking some U-turns to elaborate on a few things previously mentioned in my series, such as maintaining your QMS, getting buy-in from others, and document control.
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  • What's the Difference? Accreditation, Certification, and Related Terms

    As we look back on 50 years of contributions to quality and excellence in materials testing at AASHTO re:source, we reflect on the largest turning points that have led to the program’s success. One such event that marks a proud moment in AASHTO re:source history occurred in 1988 when the AASHTO Accreditation Program (AAP) was established. The program was developed to provide a mechanism to formally recognize the competency of construction materials testing laboratories. (Check out The History of the AASHTO Accreditation Program for more information.) As we look back on this historic occasion, we reflect on the term “accreditation” and its essential role in construction materials testing.
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