Concrete Certification

Overview

The CCIL certification of Concrete laboratories is a national program which certifies laboratories in accordance with CSA A283-06, the current qualification code for concrete testing laboratories, as well as additional criteria as may be established by CCIL.  

CSA A283-06 defines several mandatory components, including:

  1. The laboratory shall have the equipment and trained staff capable of performing the test procedures for the category under which the laboratory is certified.
  2. The equipment shall be maintained and calibrated to comply with the appropriate requirements of CSA A23.2 and CSA A283.
  3. Each certified laboratory must employ at least one technician with a valid CCIL certification, who has passed the written and practical exams for both laboratory and field to match the level of laboratory certification including any additional tests.  This does not have to be achieved by only one technician, but for each test on the laboratories certificate at least one technician must have the appropriate certification. Field and Laboratory testing shall only be carried out by certified technicians.
  4. The laboratory shall maintain records of test results, within-laboratory proficiency, calibration and verification of equipment, qualifications of staff, and identified deficiencies and corresponding corrective measures.
  5. The laboratory must be under the supervision of a professional engineer (ing in Quebec, P. Eng elsewhere in Canada) licensed to practice in the jurisdiction in which the laboratory is located and who has a minimum of two years of working experience related to a concrete testing laboratory and is a full-time employee of the laboratory.
  6. The laboratory shall execute a formal undertaking in writing to abide by the test methods and procedures in the applicable standards.
  7. The laboratory shall demonstrate continued compliance by undergoing an annual audit by CCIL to maintain its certification.

In addition, all new Concrete laboratories applying for certification must participate in an inter-lab correlation test to demonstrate their proficiency and ability to produce reliable test results on compression samples.

There are three categories of Concrete laboratory certification:

  • Category 0 - Basic certification. This category includes the most common field procedures for sampling and testing plastic concrete, and measuring the compressive strength of concrete.
  • Category 1 - Intermediate certification.  This category includes all the tests in Category 0, as well as laboratory and field procedures for sampling and testing concrete aggregates, more tests on plastic concrete, and the obtaining and testing of drilled cores.
  • Category 2 - Advanced certification.  This category includes all the tests in Category 1, as well as more specialized tests on aggregates and concrete.

There are additional tests that can be added to the three categories. A Category 0 laboratory may be certified to mould and test flexural specimens in addition to the basic tests. Category 1 or 2 laboratories may also be certified for any of the additional test methods defined in CSA A283-06. In general, additional tests are specialized tests preformed on aggregates, concrete, groundwater, and grout

Concrete technicians employed by certified laboratories must demonstrate their proficiency in carrying out the test procedures for which the laboratory is certified, through practical tests and written examinations.  Technicians passing the written and practical Field Exams are issued a CCIL Certified Concrete Field Testing Technician card valid for a period of 5 years.  The laboratory is provided with a written record of technicians passing the written and practical Laboratory Exams.  The qualifications of a laboratory technician are also valid for five years.

Program Details and Tests

The test methods included in the CCIL certification program for Concrete laboratories are those listed inCSA A283-06 Update No. 2 (dated June 2013). The following test methods are included in each category:

  • Category 0 - Basic Certification: CSA A23.2-1C, 3C (compression specimens only), 4C, 5C, 9C, 17C and 19C;
  • Category 1 - Intermediate Certification: Category 0 test methods plus CSA A23.2-1A, 2A, 3A, 4A, 5A, 6A, 7A, 10A, 11A, 12A, 13A, 6C and 14C;
  • Category 2 - Advanced Certification: Category 1 test methods plus CSA A23.2-8A, 2C, 11C and 12C (including 18C).
  • Additional Tests: Laboratories certified as Category 0 may add 3C (flexural test specimens) and 8C. Laboratories certified as Category 1 or 2 may be certified for any of the following additional tests: CSA A23.2-9A, 14A, 16A, 17A, 23A, 24A, 25A, 26A, 29A, 1B, 2B, 3B, 4B, 6B, 8B, 3C (flexural test specimens), 7C, 8C, 10C, 13C, 15C, 16C, 18C, 20C, 21C, 22C, 23C, ASTM C457 and C666/C666M. Test method ASTM E1155M is not included in the program because it applies to construction tolerances rather then material properties.

Reference and Working Documents

The following documents provide info and the terms of references for the certification program:

Laboratories must purchase copies of:

  1. CSA Standard A283-06 "Qualification code for concrete testing laboratories"
  2. CSA Standard A23.1-14 "Concrete materials and methods of concrete construction and CSA Standard A23.2-14 "Test methods and standard practices for concrete"
  3. All ASTM Standards for which the laboratory is certified.

Technician Training

CCIL does not provide any technician training. Alternative ways of preparing technicians for the written and practical examinations, and details of the examinations, are given in the document:

 
The following guide provides talking points for handling situations in the field.
 
 
Information for New Applicants (How to Become Certified)

There are a number of documents given above, under Reference and Working Documents that describe the certification process for a concrete testing laboratory and provide other information relevant to the process.  The document "CCIL Concrete Testing Laboratory Certification Program Description" describes the procedure for the certification and annual audit of concrete laboratories.  A more informal description, as well as details of the concrete cylinder strength correlation test, is contained in the document "Information for New Concrete Laboratory Applicants".  Information concerning technicians, and the written and practical examinations for laboratory and field technicians, is given in the document "Training and Certification of Concrete Technicians".

The certification process begins when the applicant laboratory completes an application through the CCIL Concrete Portal (https://portal.ccil.com).  The laboratory's Supervising Engineer or the laboratory's Main Contact may create a login and fill out the Application for Services. However only the Supervising Engineer will be authorized to submit it to CCIL.  Upon receipt of the application form, the laboratory will be contacted by CCIL to review the application and answer any questions relating to the certification process. Information on fees is available from the CCIL Certification Office (gkermath@ccil.com).