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"We think it’s a good value because the audit, the recognition and the hands-on real time demonstrations that you get from their people. They are good at putting techs at ease."

Bowser-Morner, Inc.

Jim Fletcher, Vice President, Director of Laboratory Services Construction Services Division

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

Assessment Prep Lists

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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 an Assessor

    RING! RING! RING! - The hotel wake-up call abruptly starts my morning routine. In a familiar hotel room, but unfamiliar city, I groggily roll out of bed. So starts another day as an AASHTO re:source Laboratory Assessor on the road. I have to remind myself where I am - I'm just outside of Chicago today. Luckily I got in early enough yesterday to get settled in and this morning is starting off pretty well. Before I head to the laboratory, I grab a quick bite to eat.
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  • 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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  • Ask AASHTO re:source!

    Why can’t AASHTO re:source conduct on-site assessments only during the winter instead of during the busy construction season? We are swamped in the summer! On a related note, can you also please stop sending proficiency samples during the summer?!
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  • Common Findings in Concrete Assessments: ASTM C1077

    On season 4 episode 26 we discuss common nonconformities for ASTM C1077 and how to resolve them.
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  • Common Findings in Concrete Assessments: ASTM C31, C39, C78, C511

    On season 4 episode 29 we discuss common nonconformities for ASTM C31, C39, C78, and C511 and how to resolve them.
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  • Common Findings in Concrete Assessments: C138, C172, C173, C231, C617, C1231

    On season 4 episode 32 we discuss common nonconformities for ASTM C138, C172, C173, C231, C617, C1231 and how to resolve them.
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  • Did You Know?

    Some tips, tricks, and interesting facts to make life in the testing laboratory just a little bit easier.
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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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  • 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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  • Laboratory Assessor Training Program

    The comprehensive training program starts with the hiring and selection process. We pour through hundreds of resumes each year to select the candidates that we will interview for the position. We look for individuals with a technical background, excellent communication and interpersonal skills, and a desire to travel extensively. Because our assessment staff are the only face-to-face interaction that our customers have with AASHTO re:source, we take the communication and interpersonal skills of a potential candidate just as seriously as we do the technical skills.
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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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  • Raising Your Standards

    Approaches on how to track and stay-up to date with your laboratory’s testing procedures.
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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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  • 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 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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  • 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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  • 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 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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  • 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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  • 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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