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Philip Stolarski, Deputy Division Chief, DES-METS & GS

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Changes to Services Due to COVID-19

Frequently Asked Questions

Updated: August 2, 2021

The following are the most common questions we have received and our answers at this time. Specific FAQs on remote assessments can be found on the Laboratory Assessment FAQ page.

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Is AASHTO re:source staff available for calls and email responses?
Yes. All AASHTO re:source staff are currently working from home, but those caring for dependents or experiencing challenges working from home may not be immediately available. Responses to questions should occur within two business days.
How will this impact my AASHTO accreditation event deadlines?
AASHTO Accredited laboratories are encouraged to communicate any concerns about deadlines with their Quality Analyst for any open accreditation events.
My laboratory was granted accreditation based on a remote assessment or inspection. Will we need to have an on-site assessment or inspection later?
Yes. Laboratories granted accreditation based on an initial remote assessment or inspection shall have an abbreviated on-site assessment or inspection in approximately one year.
When will AASHTO re:source resume on-site assessments?
As of August 2021, AASHTO re:source has made the difficult decision to continue the use of remote assessments. When a target date for a return to on-site assessments has been determined, we will inform customers via email, our website, and social media.

This decision was made for several reasons, including concerns regarding the current upward trend in COVID-19 cases across the country. In addition, we believe that more time is needed to fully develop and communicate appropriate travel and safety policies to our assessment team and customers. We are working to carefully plan this transition and will share additional updates as more information is available.
Will our laboratory be given leniency on missing technician certifications?
Below are a few scenarios related to certification provider delays and the ramifications for AASHTO re:source assessment reports and AASHTO Accreditation.

  • The certifications became recently expired around the time of the COVID-19 outbreak, and they were still expired at the time of the assessment: The AASHTO re:source assessment report will include a nonconformity that will be tracked by the AASHTO Accreditation Program (AAP). The AAP will be lenient about the deadline in these cases in line with the certification provider’s availability. Accreditation will remain in good standing, provided the laboratory resolves this situation in a timely manner.

  • The laboratory provided no evidence that indicated its staff maintained the required certifications at any recent time: The AASHTO re:source assessment report will include a nonconformity that will be tracked by the AAP. Accreditations will not be granted for any standards requiring certifications, and accreditations will be withdrawn where appropriate.

  • The laboratory is unable to obtain external certifications but will be creating its own internal program in the meantime: The laboratory can proceed with the AAP’s established procedures for evaluation of internal examination programs. Program requirements are located on the AASHTO Accreditation Documents page of the AASHTO re:source website. Accreditation will not be available for ASTM D3666 if the laboratory pursues internal examination because these standards require external certifications. ASTM E329 also requires external certifications or a PE license for the laboratory supervisor position.
If we missed an interval due to our calibration provider not being able to travel to visit our laboratory, will that be noted in the next on-site assessment report?
Below are a few scenarios related to calibration provider delays and the ramifications for the AASHTO re:source assessment report and AASHTO Accreditation.

  • The equipment calibration was overdue at the time of the assessment: The AASHTO re:source report will include a nonconformity that will be tracked by the AASHTO Accreditation Program (AAP). The AAP will be lenient about the deadline in these cases in line with the calibration provider’s availability.

  • The equipment calibration was completed before the assessment, but the interval was greater than is permitted in the standards: An Observation will be reported. No corrective action report will be required.

  • The laboratory had never had its equipment calibrated and is requesting accreditation for the first time: Accreditation will not be granted in these cases until the proper calibrations have been carried out.
Are extra proficiency samples (including blind samples) still available?
Yes. Visit our Extra Proficiency Samples page for more details.
We normally conduct management reviews and internal audits in person with people from different parts of the country. Are we able to carry those activities out remotely?
We do not have any concerns if you are able to accomplish these tasks effectively while working remotely. The program requirements would remain unchanged.
I don't see the answer to my question. Can I ask a new question?
Yes, you can. Send us your question.
AASHTO Accreditation and COVID-19
April 13, 2020

Your AASHTO Accreditation may be the last thing you're thinking about during this pandemic, and that's okay. Accreditation Program Manager, Brian Johnson (with help from his kids) give you some tips to help your lab during this time. Visit aashtoresource.org/covid-19 for details on how COVID-19 has impacted our services.

Remote Assessments Video Tutorial
July 1, 2020

Learn more about this service and how to request a remote assessment in this short video.





Remote Assessments Webinar 
July 14, 2020

A recording of the July 14, 2020 webinar on remote assessments.








Announcements


August 16, 2021


In our last communication regarding on-site assessments, we announced the decision to postpone the return to on-site assessments.  At this time, we will continue to conduct remote assessments until further notice.  When a new target date for return to on-site assessments has been determined, we will inform customers via email, our website, and social media.  We will send another update to customers no later than October 3, 2021.

Frequently Asked Questions

We have done our best to answer some of your questions below.  If you cannot find an answer to your question, please send us your question through this online form

  • My laboratory is already scheduled for a remote assessment. Can I just wait and have an on-site assessment instead?
    No.  We will be conducting all assessments remotely until further notice.  Postponing or cancelling your assessment may result in revocation of your accreditation and cancellation fees.
  • My laboratory had a remote assessment for initial accreditation.   I know I need to have an abbreviated on-site assessment.  What do I need to do?
    AASHTO re:source staff will email you approximately two months prior to your on-site assessment to let you know that it is time to submit a request.  You do not need to do anything until we contact you.
  • I already submitted my laboratory’s assessment request, but the assessment has not been scheduled yet. Is there anything that I need to do?
    No.  You will receive an email from us 4-6 weeks before the start date of your assessment.  You can review our schedule to get a better idea of when we will be visiting your area, or you can contact us at lap@aashtoresource.org.

Resources to Help You Prepare for Your Assessment

Whether your next assessment is remote or on-site, there are some things that you can do to ensure that you are prepared to get the most out of the experience.  We encourage you to check out the recording of our latest webinar, Ready Set, Go: How to Prepare for an Assessment, which will guide you through the assessment process, step-by-step.  You can also listen to our Podcast episode on the same subject.  In addition, we have a helpful infographic on How to Prepare for Your Remote Assessment.

If you have more questions, please submit them through this online form.  

August 2, 2021


In June, we announced our plan to return to on-site assessments in September.  After careful consideration, AASHTO re:source has made the difficult decision to postpone this return to on-site assessments. 

Postponement of the Return to On-Site Assessments

At this time, we will continue to conduct remote assessments.  When a new target date for return to on-site assessments has been determined, we will inform customers via email, our website, and social media.

This decision was made for several reasons, including concerns regarding the current upward trend in COVID-19 cases across the country.  In addition, we believe that more time is needed to fully develop and communicate appropriate travel and safety policies to our assessment team and customers. 

What to Expect Next

AASHTO re:source will continue to communicate with customers on this topic regularly.  You can expect another communication from us in mid-August.

If your laboratory has an assessment scheduled with AASHTO re:source, your laboratory’s assessment will proceed as a remote assessment.  Follow the instructions laid out in the announcement letter that you have received, as well anything communicated to you directly by your assessor.

If your laboratory has received notification from us that you will need to submit a request for an assessment to maintain your AASHTO accreditation, please submit your request by the deadline communicated to you. 

Please Submit Your Feedback, Questions, and Concerns

Thank you for your patience with us as we continue to work toward returning to on-site assessments.  If you have any concerns or questions regarding this transition back to on-site assessment, we encourage you to provide your feedback using this online form.

June 29, 2021

We are pleased to announce that AASHTO re:source is tentatively planning to resume on-site laboratory assessments the week of September 6, 2021. 

Please Submit Your Feedback, Questions, and Concerns
We have done our best to address many of your questions and concerns below.  However, if you have further questions or concerns, please send them to us through this online form

Additional Updates Coming Soon
We are working to carefully plan this transition and will share additional updates as more information is available.  You should expect to receive another communication from us in mid to late July with additional updates. These updates will include additional information regarding updated policies and procedures, fees, and safety.

On-Site Assessment Fees
With the resumption of on-site assessments, we are also updating the base and half-day fees associated with the program.  The updated Base Fee of $780 is charged for every on-site assessment regardless of the scope of the assessment.  The updated Half-Day Fee of $1295 is charged based on amount of time each fully trained assessor is in the field assessing.  You can find full details on these new fees on the Test and Fees page of our website.

Attend Our Webinar on August 12, 2021
We will be hosting a Webinar called “Ready, Set Go: How to Prepare for an AASHTO re:source Assessment” on August 12, 2021, where we will discuss details of our return to on-site assessments and answer customer questions.  You can register for the webinar here.  If you are unable to attend, a recording will be available on our YouTube channel a few days after the live event.

Frequently Asked Questions
We have done our best to answer some of your questions below.  If you cannot find an answer to your question, please send us your question through this online form.  This form can also be used to share any other concerns regarding on-site assessments that you may have.

  1. What are AASHTO re:source’s COVID-19 safety policies for on-site assessments?

    We are working currently with AASHTO leadership and carefully reviewing CDC guidelines to develop our safety procedures.  As always, the safety of our assessors and our customers is our top priority.  If you have safety concerns or considerations that you would like to share with us, please let us know about them through this online form.

  2. My laboratory is already scheduled for a remote assessment. Can I just wait and have an on-site assessment instead?

    No.  Any assessments that are scheduled prior to September 6, 2021 will be conducted remotely.  Postponing or cancelling your assessment may result in revocation of your accreditation and cancellation fees.

  3. My laboratory had a remote assessment for initial accreditation.I know I need to have an abbreviated on-site assessment.What do I need to do?

    AASHTO re:source staff will contact you approximately two months prior to your on-site assessment to let you know that it is time to submit a request.  You do not need to do anything until we contact you.

  4. I already submitted by assessment request, but my assessment has not been scheduled yet. Is there anything that I need to do?

    No.  If the assessment is scheduled on or after September 6, 20201 we will automatically change the request over to an on-site assessment.  We will contact all customers with an open remote assessment request to inform them of any changes to fees in the next several weeks.

  5. What will be fees be for on-site assessments?

    Our current fee structure can be found here.  It should be noted that while performing remote assessments, we did not charge customers Out-of-Sequence Fees.  Due to the additional travel costs incurred for on-site Out-of-Sequence Assessments, we will resume charging these fees.

  6. AASHTO re:source required laboratories to submit all quality system policies, procedures, and records prior to remote assessments. Will this policy be the same for on-site assessments?
    We will be requiring laboratories to submit their quality manual policies and procedures only.  Laboratories will not be required to submit equipment, training, and other records prior to the on-site assessment.  A due date of two weeks prior to the on-site assessment will be established for in-sequence assessments for customers that are currently accredited.  Failure to submit these documents by the due date will result in a surcharge added to the assessment invoice in the amount of $700.  Additional information on this policy will be made available on our website soon.

We will be requiring laboratories to submit their quality manual policies and procedures only.  Laboratories will not be required to submit equipment, training, and other records prior to the on-site assessment.  A due date of two weeks prior to the on-site assessment will be established for in-sequence assessments for customers that are currently accredited.  Failure to submit these documents by the due date will result in a surcharge added to the assessment invoice in the amount of $700.  Additional information on this policy will be made available on our website soon.

Thank you for your patience with us as we formulate our plans to return to on-site assessments.  We look forward to seeing many of you again in person soon.  Again, if you have any concerns or questions regarding this transition back to on-site assessment, we encourage you to provide your feedback using this online form.

June 30, 2020

The health and safety of our staff, customers, and communities continue to be our top priority.  Currently, limited staff members have restricted access to our facilities. Below are the most recent changes to our programs: 

Proficiency Samples
We have resumed most of our proficiency sample-related activities.  Please visit the Proficiency Sample Schedule page for the most current sample dates and deadlines.

Specific questions regarding these changes can be directed to Proficiency Sample Program Manager, John Malusky at jmalusky@aashtoresource.org or 240-436-4825.

On-Site Assessments
AASHTO re:souce is now conducting remote assessments for all customers as part of our regular tour schedule.  In May we announced the use of remote assessments for customers with urgent needs.  We decided to expand the use of remote assessments to all customers due to the continued travel restrictions and to meet customer needs. For complete details, please visit the Remote Assessments page and the assessment FAQ page.

Please note this is not a permanent change to our services.  On-site laboratory assessments are still suspended until further notice, but we will resume in-person assessments as soon as it is safe to do so.  

Questions regarding any of these changes can be directed to Laboratory Assessment Program Manager, Maria Knake at mknake@aashtoresource.org or 240-436-4804.

AASHTO Accreditation
AASHTO Accredited laboratories are encouraged to communicate any concerns about deadlines with their Quality Analyst for any open accreditation events.  Questions regarding how this further impacts your laboratory’s accreditation can be directed to AASHTO Accreditation Program Manager, Brian Johnson at bjohnson@aashtoresource.org or 240-436-4820.

Future Actions
AASHTO is monitoring this situation closely and will update customers with any further changes to our services.  Please contact AASHTO re:source Manager, Bob Lutz at rlutz@aashtresource.org or 240-436-4801 or CMRL Director, Steve Lenker at slenker@aashtoresource.org or 240-436-4770 with any questions or concerns.

May 19, 2020

AASHTO offices will remain closed at this time. We are monitoring this situation closely and updating programs as needed. 

Proficiency Samples
Throughout our response to the COVID-19 crisis, we have evaluated the timeline for the production and packaging of samples, as well as the revised closing and final report dates on samples that are currently distributed.  This thorough evaluation of the program has led us to the decision to cancel the 2020 Slurry and Micro Surfacing Proficiency Sample Round. Participants in the sample round have received an email with more detailed information.   

The closing and final report dates for samples currently distributed have been revised once again. Please visit the schedule page for updated dates.  Specific questions regarding any of these changes can be directed to Proficiency Sample Program Manager, John Malusky at jmalusky@aashtoresource.org or 240-436-4825.

No other programmatic changes have been made. See the May 7, 2020 announcement for the most current information on change to laboratory assessments and AASHTO Accreditation.

May 7, 2020

For the health and safety of our staff, customers, and communities, the offices of AASHTO remain closed.  Below are the most recent changes to our programs: 

Proficiency Samples
The 2020 Asphalt Mixtures Marshall, Hveem, and Gyratory Design sample ship and closing dates have been delayed. Please visit the schedule page for updated dates.  

We are hopeful that this schedule change will accommodate the situation, however, please keep in mind that the schedule may change as the pandemic progresses. Specific questions regarding these changes can be directed to Proficiency Sample Program Manager, John Malusky at jmalusky@aashtoresource.org or 240-436-4825.

On-Site Assessments
We are now offering remote assessments. This is currently only available to customers seeking accreditation for the first time or need to add tests to their current scope of accreditation. Laboratories that are currently accredited by AASHTO are not eligible at this time. For complete details, please visit the Remote Assessments page.  

On-site laboratory assessments are still suspended until further notice.  Questions regarding any of these changes can be directed to Laboratory Assessment Program Manager, Maria Knake at mknake@aashtoresource.org or 240-436-4804.

AASHTO Accreditation
AASHTO Accredited laboratories are encouraged to communicate any concerns about deadlines with their Quality Analyst for any open accreditation events.  Questions regarding how this further impacts your laboratory’s accreditation can be directed to AASHTO Accreditation Program Manager, Brian Johnson at bjohnson@aashtoresource.org or 240-436-4820.

Future Actions
AASHTO will continue to monitor this situation and will update customers with any further changes to our services.  Please contact AASHTO re:source Manager, Bob Lutz at rlutz@aashtresource.org or 240-436-4801 or CMRL Director, Steve Lenker at slenker@aashtoresource.org or 240-436-4770 with any questions or concerns.

April 20, 2020

We continue to monitor this situation closely and are making adjustments to our programs as needed.

Proficiency Samples
The deadlines for submitting data for the following proficiency samples have been further extended:

  • Fine Aggregate 207/208: May 21, 2020
  • Soil Classification and Compaction 181/182: June 11, 2020
  • Viscosity Graded Asphalt Cement 259/260: June 18, 2020
  • Performance Graded Asphalt Binder 259/260: June 25, 2020

Specific questions regarding these changes can be directed to Proficiency Sample Program Manager, John Malusky at jmalusky@aashtoresource.org or 240-436-4825.

On-Site Assessments
All on-site laboratory assessments are suspended until further notice.  Questions regarding an upcoming assessment can be directed to Laboratory Assessment Program Manager, Maria Knake at mknake@aashtoresource.org or 240-436-4804.

AASHTO Accreditation
AASHTO Accredited laboratories are encouraged to communicate any concerns about deadlines with their Quality Analyst for any open accreditation events.  Questions regarding how this further impacts your laboratory’s accreditation can be directed to AASHTO Accreditation Program Manager, Brian Johnson at bjohnson@aashtoresource.org or 240-436-4820.

Future Actions
AASHTO will continue to monitor this situation and will update customers with any further changes to our services.  Please contact AASHTO re:source Manager, Bob Lutz at rlutz@aashtresource.org or 240-436-4801 or CMRL Director, Steve Lenker at slenker@aashtoresource.org or 240-436-4770 with any questions or concerns.

March 13, 2020 

The health and safety of our customers, staff, and communities are of utmost importance to AASHTO.  After careful consideration, the following changes will be made to our programs effective Monday, March 16, 2020.

On-Site Assessments
All on-site laboratory assessments are suspended until further notice.  Customers who currently have assessments scheduled will receive a phone call from our office to confirm receipt of this message.  We will continue to monitor the situation to determine when we can resume on-site assessments.  Questions regarding your upcoming assessment can be directed to Laboratory Assessment Program Manager, Maria Knake at mknake@aashtoresource.org or 240-436-4804.

AASHTO Accreditation
The AASHTO Accreditation Program will add 30 days to the deadlines of any open accreditation events.  Questions regarding how this further impacts your laboratory’s accreditation can be directed to AASHTO Accreditation Program Manager, Brian Johnson at bjohnson@aashtoresource.org or 240-436-4820.

Proficiency Samples
The deadlines for submitting data for the following proficiency samples have been extended for 28 days:

  • Fine Aggregate 207/208: April 24, 2020
  • Soil Classification and Compaction 181/182: May 14, 2020
  • Viscosity Graded Asphalt Cement 259/260: May 21, 2020
  • Performance Graded Asphalt Binder 259/260: May 28, 2020

Specific questions regarding these changes can be directed to Proficiency Sample Program Manager, John Malusky at jmalusky@aashtoresource.org or 240-436-4825.

2020 AASHTO re:source Technical Exchange (March 23-26)
This event has been canceled. More details can be found on the event site. 

Future Actions
AASHTO will continue to monitor this situation closely and will update customers with any further changes to our services.  Please contact AASHTO re:source Manager, Bob Lutz at rlutz@aashtresource.org or 240-436-4801 or CMRL Director, Steve Lenker at slenker@aashtoresource.org or 240-436-4770 with any questions or concerns.

Thank you for your support and understanding as we navigate this fluid and multi-faceted situation.

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