RAISING PROFESSIONALISM IN THE READY MIXED CONCRETE INDUSTRY THROUGH THE CERTIFICATION OF PRODUCTION FACILITIES THAT COMPLY WITH INDUSTRY STANDARDS.
- NRMCA Producer Quality Certification Free Webinar
- ACI Concrete International article on the Certification Program
As interest in performance-based specifications grows, companies in the ready mixed concrete industry must be able to provide confidence to design engineers that they have the proficiency and operate at a high level of quality to take on the responsibility to respond to these specifications. This certification has evolved from the NRMCA P2P Initiative. However, its use does not need restricted to this type of work. Establishing and following a well-defined Quality Management System improves the reputation of a concrete producer in the local market, improves its profitability by the ability to optimize concrete mixtures and deliver special types of concrete, and avoid quality and specification compliance problems on projects.
The NRMCA Quality Certification Program has been developed and will be maintained by the NRMCA’s Research Engineering and Standards Committee. The Certification Criteria and overall Program has been reviewed and approved by the NRMCA Board of Directors. The development has followed an iterative process of discussions with producer members, auditors and through a pilot program with two companies. This program was first released in September 2013. It is expected that certification criteria for this Quality Certification Program will evolve with time.
The first requirement is for a company to develop and manage a Quality Manual. A resource to concrete producers in developing their Quality Manual is available here.
The NRMCA Quality Certification Program establishes minimum criteria that should be covered in a Company’s Quality Manual. So producers seeking this certification should ensure that their Quality Manual covers the items in this Program. The Quality Manual typically describes procedures as general statements with general assignment of responsibilities to certain job functions.
The Applying Entity for certification can be:
- the Company,
- a division of the Company, or
- a smaller subsection of the Company.
The production facilities (plants) included in the Applying Entity should be listed in the application for certification.
The premise of the NRMCA Quality Certification Program is that the Company maintains a Quality Manual and the Applying Entity follows the procedures stated in it. Section 1 of the submission requests portions of the Company’s Quality Manual. Sections 2-6 request specific procedures, documentation and names of personnel from the Applying Entity to verify that the Quality Manual is being followed.
How to Obtain Certification
- Download a copy of the NRMCA Certification Criteria Document.
- Review the Company’s Quality Manual to ensure it covers all aspects of the Certification.
- Identify the production facilities to be included in the application.
- Ensure that Applying Entity and each production facility maintains the procedures required in the Certification Criteria – this may need some changes to the Company’s Quality Manual.
- Collect the information in the sequence of the Certification Criteria Document.
- Identify each portion of the submission with the Section number reference.
- Complete the application and submit the required documentation along with the fee for Certification.
- The submission is required in two formats:
- Electronic copy (NRMCA will provide a means of transferring files)
- Print copy in a binder (this will be forwarded to the Auditor)
The submission from the Applying Entity is audited by an independent third party auditor selected by NRMCA. The selected auditors are familiar with ready mixed concrete operations and quality processes. The Audit is only of the documentation furnished with the submission. There is no physical site visit by the Auditor. The auditor may communicate with an individual at the Applying Entity for clarifications and additional documentation.
Upon approval, the Applying Entity will be notified and a Certificate of Conformance will be issued. The Certificate will list the Production Facilities included in the Certified Entity.
The Certification will be valid for a period of 2 years from the date of approval of the audit. The Company Executive with managerial responsibility over the Applying Entity signs the certificate and states that the Entity will maintain processes in conformance with the Certification for the period of certification.
The following documents and forms are needed for the NRMCA Quality Certification Program. Click on the documents to download.
NRMCA charges the following fees that cover the cost of the Auditors fees and NRMCA’s service. Since additional documentation is required for each production facility included with the Applying Entity, a fixed additional fee is included for each production facility in the submission:
Fee is stated for (1) applying entity + fixed fee per production facility
- NRMCA member – $2,300* + $50
- Non-member – $3,500 + $100
*Members are offered an additional temporary discount of $500.
The fee must accompany the completed submission. Processing will be delayed until payment has been received. NRMCA accepts payment in the form of credit card (American Express, MasterCard or Visa) or check (made payable to NRMCA).
The turnaround time for processing a correctly completed submission will vary depending on the organization and clarity of the submission and the Auditors schedule. It is anticipated that review and approval should be completed in 2-4 weeks for a well documented submission. Approval will be delayed if the Auditor has to request additional information from the Applying Entity. Requests for certification are processed on a first-come-first-served basis.
For Certification Status, Policy Questions and other non-technical inquiries:
Send your inquiry by email to: Shawnita Dickens: 703-706-4854
For technical questions: Karthik Obla, Vice President of Technical Services at NRMCA: 703-706-4863 and Colin Lobo, Senior Vice President of Engineering at NRMCA: 703-706-4860