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How to Publicize Your Laboratory's AASHTO Accreditation

By Brian Johnson, AASHTO Accreditation Program Director and Kim Swanson, Communications Manager

Revised: June 2017

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.

Important Reminders
Do not promote your laboratory’s AASHTO Accreditation before it has been officially granted by the AAP.  Your laboratory’s participation in the AASHTO re:source Laboratory Assessment Program or the CCRL Laboratory Inspection Program does not permit you to use the terms “AASHTO Accreditation” or “AASHTO Accredited”. 

Because AASHTO Accreditation is a dynamic process, and the scope of your laboratory’s accreditation can often change, AASHTO Accreditation does not expire on a specific date.  It also only applies to specific laboratory locations and does not imply umbrella coverage from a parent entity.  Each location must maintain its own accreditation and this distinction must be made clear when publicizing your laboratory’s AASHTO Accreditation. 

It is also important to understand the AASHTO Accreditation Program accredits testing firms.  It does not accredit, certify, or approve specific individuals or products produced by a company.

Online Directory
The moment your laboratory becomes AASHTO Accredited, the accreditation listing can be accessed through the Directory of AASHTO Accredited Labs on our website.  This is the quickest and most accurate way to share your laboratory’s accreditation.  The directory has the most current accreditation information and is updated every 30 minutes. Your laboratory’s accreditation information is accessible to the public and is searchable by laboratory name, location, test method, or a combination thereof.  The directory includes the following information for each accredited laboratory: laboratory name, address, contact information, accredited test methods, and date(s) of initial accreditation for each testing field. 

We suggest laboratories link directly to their directory listing from their website.  You can find your laboratory’s unique listing by searching the directory for your laboratory by name or location.  From the search results, click the “Show This Entry Only” link.  This page’s URL address is specific to your laboratory.  Although the accreditation information displayed will be updated regularly, this URL address will not change.  Using the AASHTO Accreditation logo on your laboratory’s website, as a hyperlink to this directory page will give potential customers easy access to your laboratories accredited testing capabilities.  Later this year, we will launch an even better search function on the website that allows you to search geographically on a map.  This will help potential customers find your lab even if you are across state lines, or in a lesser known suburb of a major metropolitan area.

Example AccreditationCert2017Certificates
We recently mailed our newly designed certificates with the updated logo to all the AASHTO Accredited laboratories in our program.  These certificates are like the old ones in that they direct the reader to the Directory of AASHTO Accredited Labs for more details.  They are perfect for display on location at the accredited facility

As an AASHTO Accredited laboratory, you may use both the hard copy certificate and the directory listing to show potential customers your laboratory is committed to quality testing.  If you are submitting your laboratory’s AASHTO Accreditation as part of a bidding package or job proposal, you can include a copy of the certificate and a printout of your laboratory’s current accreditation listing from the directory.

Later this year, we will be launching a new method of delivery for this certificate, which will make your certificate much more useful.  Once accreditation has been granted, a digital and printable version of your laboratory’s Certificate of Accreditation will be accessible through your laboratory’s accreditation listing on the Directory of AASHTO Accredited Labs.  This version of your laboratory’s certificate includes a main page with basic laboratory and accreditation details.  In addition, the certificate will include subsequent pages with complete details of the scopes and test methods for which your laboratory is currently accredited. 

Our staff will continue to send your laboratory a hardcopy of the Certificate of Accreditation once accreditation has been granted and upon request.  This full-color certificate will be printed on cardstock and include the certificate’s main page, with the name and location of the laboratory. 

Choosing the Right Words
There are a few key considerations to make when publicizing your laboratory’s AASHTO Accreditation.  Statements of accreditation should say the laboratory is accredited, not certified, approved, or recognized.  For organizations with more than one testing laboratory, stating “our laboratories are AASHTO Accredited” is only acceptable when all of the company’s testing laboratories are currently accredited.  

Another important distinction to make is that AASHTO Accreditation is only granted through the AASHTO Accreditation Program, not AASHTO re:source, CCRL, or any other provider of accreditation or assessment services.  So, when promoting your laboratory’s accreditation, be sure to clarify AASHTO Accreditation. In addition, laboratories are not permitted to say items tested in their accredited facility have been certified or approved by AASHTO, AASHTO re:source, or CCRL.  While the AASHTO Accreditation Program is not involved in those activities, AASHTO’s National Transportation Product Evaluation Program (NTPEP) deals more closely with product and production facility approval.

The AASHTO Accredited Logo
The AASHTO Accredited logo is available to AASHTO Accredited laboratories for use on company websites, brochures, advertisements, and other marketing material.  The logo can also be included on laboratory test reports when at least one of the tests appearing on the report has been performed by the AASHTO Accredited laboratory and is included in the current scope of the laboratory’s accreditation.  This is allowed only if any non-accredited methods included in the report are identified as such.  There will no longer be a separate ISO/IEC 17025 logo.  Anyone with specific questions regarding proper use of the AASHTO Accredited logo is encouraged to review the Publicity Policies or contact AASHTO re:source.  AASHTO Accredited laboratories can obtain a digital copy of the AASHTO Accredited logo online or by emailing us at aap@aashtoresource.org.

Our Publicity Policies
AASHTO Accreditation sets your laboratory apart from the competition. It can be an effective marketing tool when publicized, if you follow our Publicity Policies in Section 9 of the AAP Procedures Manual.  These policies include examples of acceptable and unacceptable states of accreditation along with more detailed guidelines than found in this article.

Violation of these policies may result in your laboratory being listed on the AASHTO re:source website under “Notice of False Accreditation Claims.”  We may also notify specifiers, project owners, or other relevant organizations of falsified claims.  The best way to avoid these kinds of problems is to become familiar with the policies.  For further questions regarding the AASHTO Accreditation Publicity Policies, e-mail us at aap@aashtoresource.org.

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