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Memorandum
U.S. Department
of Transportation
Federal Highway
Administration


Subject: Information: Laboratory QualificationDate: Oct 9, 1998

From: Chief, Highway Operations DivisionReply to Attn. of: HNG-23

To: Resource Center Directors
Division Administrators


The purpose of this memorandum is to serve as a reminder of some important deadlines and to provide suggestions for what constitute a qualified laboratory program. It should be noted that 23 CFR 637 does not require all laboratories to be accredited. Only State central laboratories, consultants performing Independent Assurance (IA), and consultants used in dispute resolution need to be accredited.

The regulation for Quality Assurance Procedures for Construction was published as 23 CFR 637 on June 29, 1995. The regulation established three deadlines related to laboratories. The first deadline, June 30, 1997, required each State departments of transportation (DOT's) central laboratory to become accredited. The second deadline, June 29, 2000, requires non-State DOT's laboratories which perform IA testing or testing for dispute resolution to become accredited. The third deadline, June 29, 2000, requires all contractors, vendor, and State DOT's testing used in the acceptance decision be performed by qualified laboratories.

The primary objective in establishing laboratory accreditation and qualification requirements is to ensure the capabilities of the laboratories. The ultimate objective is to assure that maximum quality control and superior highway materials are incorporated into the finished highway infrastructure element.

The following should be used as guidance in establishing laboratory qualification programs.

Personnel:

Equipment Documentation:

Proficiency In Testing:

Frequency of Evaluation:

Laboratory qualifications which contain all of the above elements will provide the assurance of meeting the objective of testing requirements for NHS projects. Any regulations questions concerning laboratory qualification should be directed to Jason Dietz, Materials Group, at 202-366-8534.

/Original Signed by/

Donald P. Steinke


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