Laboratory Assessment Program
The AASHTO re:source Laboratory Assessment Program (LAP) provides on-site assessments of laboratories that perform testing of materials used for construction and the preservation of roads, bridges, and vertical infrastructure. Participating laboratories include state DOT’s and other government laboratories, universities, research facilities, material producers, and commercial testing laboratories. AASHTO re:source’s rigorous on-site assessments are a critical step in obtaining and maintaining accreditation through AASHTO.
By receiving an AASHTO re:source on-site assessment, your laboratory is able to
- demonstrate conformance to specific national and international standards
- experience a thorough examination of technician competency
- get expert advice and first-hand feedback on laboratory best practices
- seek AASHTO accreditation
Scope of On-Site Assessments
During on-site assessments, our expertly trained assessors observe a demonstration of each standard test method or practice by the laboratory’s technical staff, and the apparatus associated with each test is evaluated. We currently offer assessments for AASHTO, ASTM, and ISSA standards, as well as some state methods. A full list of standards offered by LAP may be found on the Tests and Fees page. The assessment may also include a thorough review of the laboratory’s quality management system for conformance to AASHTO R 18 and other quality system standards (D3470, D3666, C1077, E329), including internal policies and procedures, records of technician training and competency evaluations, equipment calibration, standardization and check records, as well as internal audits.
Laboratories can currently receive assessments in the following fields of testing
*For laboratories that require an assessment in concrete, cement, or pozzolan, slag cement, or mortar, these on-site assessments are conducted by the Cement and Concrete Reference Laboratory (CCRL). Laboratories who obtain an assessment through CCRL are also eligible for participation in the AASHTO Accreditation.
- Asphalt Binder
- Emulsified Asphalt
- Asphalt Mixtures
- Iron and Steel
- Pavement Preservation
- Spray-applied Fire-Resistive Materials (SFRM)
On-Site Assessment Process
Laboratories must submit an Assessment Request
in order for our staff to schedule an on-site assessment at your facility. You will be notified of the specific on-site assessment date approximately 4-6 weeks in advance.
View the estimated schedule
to determine when we will be visiting your area as part of our normal tour schedule. If you would like to have an assessment at a time other than that shown on the schedule, additional travel costs for an out-of-sequence assessment may apply. Regular assessment fees
are calculated based on the requested scope of testing.
Before the Assessment
For Laboratories Seeking Accreditation Only
For All Laboratories
- Once your assessment has been scheduled, you may be asked to submit pre-assessment documentation through our online system. You may be asked to provide:
- Personnel qualifications and certifications held by your technicians
- A list of field and laboratory technicians at your facility
- An organizational chart
- A copy of your laboratory’s quality system policies and procedures that demonstrate conformance to AASHTO R 18 (new laboratories only).
During the On-Site Assessment
- Your assessor will be in contact with you 2-4 weeks before the scheduled start date of your on-site assessment. The assessor will be able to answer any technical or logistical questions that you have about the assessment process. The assessor will also send you an official agenda for the assessment that will provide you with additional information on what to expect while the assessor is visiting your facility.
- Laboratories should be familiar with the specific requirements for each requested test or procedure. Current versions of each applicable test method should be available at the testing laboratory for review by the Assessor.
- Review Assessment Preparation Lists that are available on our website. These lists describe the steps that laboratories should take to prepare for each test, such as sample preparation and testing guidance.
After the Assessment
- A typical assessment begins with an opening meeting, where the assessor reviews the scope and schedule of the assessment with laboratory personnel.
- The laboratory’s technical personnel demonstrate each test method while being closely observed by the Assessor. The testing is performed on samples of construction materials that are provided by the laboratory.
- The apparatus associated with each test method is also examined for conformance to AASHTO and/or ASTM requirements. Our assessors are equipped with specialized equipment for this purpose, such as standard masses, and digital calipers, and thermometers.
- If the laboratory is seeking or wishes to maintain accreditation through AASHTO, a thorough review of the laboratory’s quality management system for conformance to AASHTO R 18 will occur. Our assessors will conduct interviews with key personnel, review equipment records, training and competency evaluation records, test reports, internal audits, and other critical documents as part of this process.
- At the conclusion of the assessment, the Assessor will conduct a closing meeting with laboratory staff. A preliminary report of the findings uncovered during the assessment is provided. The findings are discussed and questions are answered by the assessor to ensure that each finding is thoroughly understood by laboratory staff.
- Upon return to the AASHTO re:source office, the official final report is issued and then distributed to the testing laboratory within 30 days of the closing meeting.
- If participating in the AASHTO Accreditation Program, laboratories are required to resolve nonconformities noted in the on-site assessment within 90 days of the issuance of the report.
Our assessors are technical experts in the CMT industry and will provide you with excellent customer service. AASHTO re:source assessors are subjected to a rigorous training program
that includes thorough in-house instruction as well as shadowing on-site assessments. AASHTO re:source encourages professional development and many of our Assessors have received additional technical and auditing skills training from organizations such as Troxler, Humboldt, National Center for Asphalt Technology (NCAT), the Asphalt Institute, and the American Society for Quality (ASQ).
AASHTO re:source prides itself on providing excellent customer service to our valued customers. Feedback
regarding your on-site assessment experience will be actively solicited during and after the assessment. You will have the opportunity to rate the Assessor on categories such as knowledge, communication, and punctuality. Your feedback is taken seriously and helps us improve our programs and services.