ASTM E329 - 11c Standard Specification for Agencies Engaged in Construction Inspection, Testing, or Special Inspection

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Source: ASTM International

This specification defines the minimum requirements for inspection agency personnel or testing agency laboratory personnel, or both, and the minimum technical requirements for equipment and procedures utilized in the testing and inspection of construction and materials used in construction. Criteria provided herein shall be used for evaluating the capability of the agency to properly perform designated tests on construction materials, as well as establishing essential characteristics pertaining to the organization, personnel, facilities, and quality systems of the agency.

This abstract is a brief summary of the referenced standard. It is informational only and not an official part of the standard; the full text of the standard itself must be referred to for its use and application. ASTM does not give any warranty express or implied or make any representation that the contents of this abstract are accurate, complete or up to date.

Significance and Use

The testing and inspection of construction and the materials in construction is an important element in obtaining quality construction in general compliance to the contract documents. An agency providing construction inspection, Special Inspection, or testing must be selected with care after a comprehensive evaluation of their competency to perform the services properly and in compliance with the applicable building code.

This specification provides basic minimum criteria for use in evaluating the qualifications of technically oriented construction inspection, Special Inspection, or testing agency. The criteria may be supplemented by more specific criteria and requirements for particular classes of testing or types of inspection agencies. An individual user can also use it to judge the competency of an agency.

The intent of this specification is to provide a consensus system standardized basis for requirements for a technically oriented construction inspection, Special Inspection, or testing agency, with respect to the agency's capability to objectively and competently provide the specific services without prejudice.

Typically, assessing an agency involves the following three essential sequential phases

Submittal of basic information in accordance with the criteria of this specification to the evaluator by an agency desiring to be qualified to this specification,

Assessing the agency-submitted information from the accreditation body, and

On-site assessment of the agency by the accreditation body.

1. Scope

1.1 This specification defines the minimum requirements for inspection agency personnel or testing agencies engaged in
a. Construction inspection of construction and materials used in construction,
b. Special Inspection, and
c. Testing of construction and materials used in construction.

1.2 Criteria are provided for evaluating the competence of an agency to properly perform designated tests, inspections, or Special Inspection services. This specification establishes essential characteristics pertaining to the organization, management, personnel, facilities, quality systems, responsibilities, duties, test and inspection methods, records, and reports of the agency. This specification may be supplemented by more specific criteria and requirements if required.

1.2.1 This specification specifically addresses factors relevant to an agency’s ability to produce precise, accurate test data or determine the conformity of construction and materials used in construction with regulations, codes, standards, or specifications containing the requirements against which the test or inspection will be performed, or both. Specific or general requirements include

1.2.1.1 Technical competency of personnel,

1.2.1.2 Validity and appropriateness of test and inspection methods and procedures,

1.2.1.3 Traceability of measurements and calibrations to national standards,

1.2.1.4 Suitability, calibration, and maintenance of test equipment,

1.2.1.5 Sampling, handling, and transportation of test items,

1.2.1.6 Quality assurance of test and inspection data,

1.2.1.7 Reporting of test and inspection data or findings, and

1.2.1.8 Non Conformance Report (NCR) management and records.

1.3 This specification can be used as a basis to assess an agency and is intended for use in accrediting agencies, public or private, engaged in construction inspection. Special Inspection or testing of construction and materials used in construction. These inspection services include but are not limited to reinforced concrete, precast concrete, structural steel erection, welding, bolting, soil and rock, foundations, masonry, sprayed fire-resistive materials, fire stops, exterior insulation and finish system (EIFS), and Special Cases. Building officials can use Specification E329 as a tool in the qualification and establishment of competency of construction inspection, Special Inspection, and testing agencies in the fields covered by Specification E329.

1.4 A certificate of accreditation, including the scope of accreditation, is required to comply with this specification.

1.5 The users of an accredited agency must review the agency's scope of accreditation to ensure the agency has been accredited for its technical competence to perform the specific tests or inspections requested by the user.

2. Referenced Documents (purchase separately)

ASTM Standards
A880 Practice for Criteria for Use in Evaluation of Testing Laboratories and Organizations for Examination and Inspection of Steel, Stainless Steel, and Related Alloys
C1077 Practice for Agencies Testing Concrete and Concrete Aggregates for Use in Construction and Criteria for Testing Agency Evaluation
C1093 Practice for Accreditation of Testing Agencies for Masonry
D3666 Specification for Minimum Requirements for Agencies Testing and Inspecting Road and Paving Materials
D3740 Practice for Minimum Requirements for Agencies Engaged in Testing and/or Inspection of Soil and Rock as Used in Engineering Design and Construction
E4 Practices for Force Verification of Testing Machines
E543 Specification for Agencies Performing Nondestructive Testing
E605 Test Methods for Thickness and Density of Sprayed Fire-Resistive Material (SFRM) Applied to Structural Members
E736 Test Method for Cohesion/Adhesion of Sprayed Fire-Resistive Materials Applied to Structural Members
E994 Guide for Calibration and Testing Laboratory Accreditation Systems General Requirements for Operation and Recognition
E1513 Practice for Application of Sprayed Fire-Resistive Materials (SFRMs)
E2174 Practice for On-Site Inspection of Installed Fire Stops
E2393 Practice for On-Site Inspection of Installed Fire Resistive Joint Systems and Perimeter Fire Barriers

AASHTO Standard
R18 Standard Recommended Practice for Establishing and Implementing a Quality System for Construction Materials Testing Laboratories

ANSI/ISO/IEC Standard
17025 General Requirements for the Competence of Calibration and Testing Laboratories

AWS Documents
D1.5 Bridge Welding Code

Index Terms

accreditation; competency; construction materials; evaluating; inspection agencies; personnel qualifications; Special Inspection; testing agencies; verification ; Building materials/applications--specifications; Accreditation practice; Composites--building applications (specifications); Bituminous materials/applications; Concrete test specimens--specifications; Construction; Laboratory--building/construction materials analysis; Laboratory testing; Licensed professional engineer; Qualifications; Steel; Structural steel (SS)--specifications; Testing and inspection agencies

ICS Code

ICS Number Code 91.100.01 (Construction materials)

DOI: 10.1520/E0329-11C

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