Learn how to be an AASHTO lab 24/7

"“…if you do everything that the AASHTO accreditation requires you to do, if you execute all of the requirements of [AASHTO re:source], you will have a well-run laboratory."

Florida Department of Transportation

Tim Ruelke, P.E., Director, Office of Materials

55+ years of experience
PSP participants
samples shipped per year
laboratory assessments per year
accredited labs

  • AASHTO re:source ISO/IEC 17025 Assessment: What to Expect and Tips to Prepare

    A Quality Management System serves as an important driving force toward achieving quality of products and services. Including the ISO/IEC 17025 standard to your scope of accreditation is a formal recognition of the lab’s technical and organizational competence. The decision to pursue the ISO/IEC 17025 quality standard should not be made lightly or without complete clarity, as there is a cost to the business. Conforming to this rigorous standard demonstrates the lab’s willingness to go above and beyond the customer’s minimum requirements to provide quality service. Whether it’s your first time or something your lab has been through in the past, preparing for an ISO/IEC 17025 assessment can be overwhelming and nerve-racking. This is because there are many pieces to the ISO/IEC 17025 puzzle, and the fear of something not working seamlessly in real-time is quite tangible. Following the five tips presented in this article and addressing them ahead of time can make the lab assessment seamless, straightforward, and a vindication of the lab’s good practices.
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  • Top 5 Ways State DOTs Can Get the Most Out of AASHTO re:source Services

    On season 3episode 20. we discuss how as AASTHO members, state DOTs can best use AASHTO re:source’s services.
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  • Top Nonconformities of AASHTO T 315 and ASTM D7175

    On season 2 episode 35 we discuss common nonconformities for the Standard Method of Test for Determining the Rheological Properties of Asphalt Binder Using a Dynamic Shear Rheometer (DSR) and how to resolve them.
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  • Top Nonconformities of AASHTO T 84 and ASTM C128

    On season 2 episode 31 of the podcast, we discuss common nonconformities for the Standard Method of Test for Specific Gravity and Absorption of Fine Aggregate and how to resolve them.
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  • Top Nonconformities of AASHTO T 209 and ASTM D2041

    On season 2 episode 30 of the podcast, we discuss common nonconformities for the Standard Method of Test for Theoretical Maximum Specific Gravity and Density of Asphalt Mixtures and how to resolve them.
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  • Raising Your Standards

    Approaches on how to track and stay-up to date with your laboratory’s testing procedures.
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  • What You Need to Know About Biographical Sketches and Position Descriptions

    Understanding the requirements of biographical sketches and position descriptions will help your laboratory meet AASHTO R 18 requirements, which will save time during the quality system review and annual review processes. Knowing these requirements will also help your organization increase its effectiveness.
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  • How to Resolve AASHTO re:source and CCRL Report Findings

    While a laboratory may have effectively resolved a nonconformity internally, it is also important to understand what forms of evidence need to be submitted to the AASHTO Accreditation Program. In some cases, the laboratory’s proposed resolution does not address, or resolve the nonconformity, and further corrective action(s) will be required. These examples will provide you with guidance on how to best resolve the various types of nonconformities and provide you with more insight into why you may be asked for additional supporting information.
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  • Proficiency Sample Program Gains ISO/IEC 17043 Accreditation

    In March 2017, the AASHTO re:source Proficiency Sample Program (PSP) gained accreditation for ISO/IEC 17043 General Requirements for Proficiency Testing. Accreditation to this standard means our sample program must adhere to specific international requirements relating to the operation of a proficiency testing program. These include requirements for the development and implementation of the proficiency testing program; homogeneity and stability testing; handling, storage, and packaging of materials; data analysis; management requirements; and corrective actions.
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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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  • 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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  • I Received A Low PSP Score, What Next?

    You just received an e-mail notifying you of low PSP ratings. This means that at least one of your scores was more than two standard deviations from the grand average, or that your laboratory did not submit data. (If you want more information on what ratings mean and how we calculate them, please review Proficiency Sample Ratings: Being Average Has Never Been So Good).
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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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  • Top 6 Uses of the AASHTO re:source Proficiency Sample Program

    Infographic: Here are the top ways you can use our Proficiency Sample Program.
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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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  • The Last Guy Didn’t Write Me Up On That!

    Gigs and dings and bones to pick…oh my! We at AASHTO re:source refer to these things by their proper name… “nonconformities.” So what’s the story behind why the last assessor didn’t “write you up” on something? That depends on lots of things – the test methods, the laboratory’s personnel, random sampling, our learning curve, miscommunication, and just plain human behavior. Let’s dig a little deeper into why two assessments of the same laboratory most likely will never be identical.
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  • Reality Calibration

    I have a confession to make. Although I’ve been an outspoken critic of “Reality TV,” there is one show that I sometimes watch with my wife. It’s called “Married at First Sight” and in each season six people agree to participate in an extreme experiment: Each pledges to legally marry a complete stranger. No dating, no talking, no getting-to-know-you period. It’s not just that they have never met; they don’t know a thing about their future spouse, haven’t even seen a glimpse of them, until the actual marriage ceremony. (I’m not sure how this actually resembles reality, although my wife sometimes thinks that I’m an alien.) You can probably guess how these marriages work out: they usually don’t. The couples struggle because they don’t know how each other will respond to certain situations. How many of us would agree to that type of arrangement?
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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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  • Ask AASHTO re:source!

    Why doesn’t AASHTO re:source provide enough soil to properly perform ASTM D698 and D1557 on the proficiency samples? Why aren’t extra proficiency samples (XPS) available for emulsified asphalt and paint?
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  • A Series on Safety - Eyewear

    As an employer in the United States, you have the legal responsibility to provide a safe workplace. The specific requirements that apply to your company or laboratory are not as simple as black and white. While the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) does have requirements, the uniqueness of the hazards to each workplace situation leave the ball in your court to determine your hazards and use the OSHA requirements to protect your employees. For this first article, I’d like to go over protective eyewear requirements. This is a great example of an issue that seems like it should be really easy to decipher. The further we investigate the requirements, the more gray areas appear.
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