Quality Management System Criteria

The laboratory shall establish, implement, and maintain a quality management system, which meets the requirements specified in AASHTO R18, Recommended Practice for Establishing and Implementing a  Quality Management System for Construction Materials Testing Laboratories. A laboratory must satisfy additional criteria in order to be recognized by CMEC as complying with ASTM D3666, D3740, C1077, C1222, C1093, E329 and ISO/IEC 17025 standards.

On-Site Assessment and Quality Management System Evaluation Criteria

The laboratory shall receive required CMEC on-site assessments and quality management system evaluations. Accredited laboratories must participate in annual re-assessments.

The laboratory shall, within 30 calendar days of the date of issuance of the formal assessment report noting the nonconformities, provide CMEC with satisfactory evidence that all nonconformities noted were either corrected or that action has been taken to correct the nonconformities. If the laboratory cannot correct the nonconformities and respond within the 30 day time period, written notification must be submitted to and approved by CMEC in order to allow the response time to be extended to 60 days.

If a laboratory fails to submit their response or a request for extension within the 30 day time limit, CMEC may require the laboratory to be re-assessed before accreditation can be granted. Costs incurred for the re-assessment shall be the responsibility of the laboratory and may include normal inspection fees plus late charges and travel expenses.

ISO/IEC 17020 and 17025 Criteria

A laboratory seeking accreditation for ISO/IEC 17020 and / or ISO/IEC 17025 must submit an application, along with a copy of its current quality management system and supporting documentation, such as standard operating procedures (SOPs), a copy of its most recent internal audit report, and a copy of the records from its most recent management review. CMEC will contact the laboratory if the quality management system is essentially in compliance with the requirements of ISO/IEC 17025 and schedule a date for the initial on-site audit of the laboratory or if additional information is required.

Proficiency Sample Program

The laboratory shall participate in all required CMEC proficiency sample programs. Proficiency sample results, which are beyond 2 standard deviations of the grand average (z-scores greater than 2.0), are considered to be poor results.  The laboratory shall, within 30 calendar days of the date of issuance of the proficiency sample report, (1) investigate to determine the reason(s) for the poor results, (2) take actions to correct any issues that are uncovered in the investigation, and (3) document and maintain records of the investigation and corrective actions taken.

Consecutive occurrences of either nonparticipation or results beyond 2.5 standard deviations of the grand average (i.e. z-scores greater than 2.5) may result in suspension of accreditation for the applicable test method(s). CMEC may require the laboratory to be re-tested prior to accreditation.  Costs occurred for the re-testing shall be the responsibility of the laboratory and may include normal sample fees and shipping expenses.