The National Ready Mixed Concrete Association has released a new certification program: a Quality Management System to be used by ready mixed concrete producers. This certification program originated as part of the NRMCA P2P (Prescriptive-to-Performance) Initiative to provide a means to recognize concrete producers that are capable of furnishing concrete to performance-based specifications. A panel of practicing engineers, convened to discuss evolution to performance-based specifications, supported the development of this certification.
The program evolution involved:
- Developing a Guideline Manual for a Quality Management System (QMS) for Ready Mixed Concrete, funded by the RMC Research & Education Foundation);
- Establishing certification criteria based on this manual – primarily items that are of interest to the specifier. This was accomplished by the NRMCA Research Engineering and Standards (RES) Committee;
- Selecting independent auditors and performing a pilot audit. Two companies participated in this pilot program and are the first companies recognized for achieving this certification; and
- Finalizing the details of the program.
The Guideline QMS document was developed to be consistent with ISO 9000 Quality Standards and made specific to the ready mixed concrete industry. The certification criteria document is also consistent with ISO 9000 standards. To become certified, a company must maintain a Quality Manual, covering minimum criteria in this certification. The applying entity from the company must demonstrate that its quality-related activities conform to its Quality Manual. The applying entity can be the whole company, a division or a subset of some plants within the company. The audit is on the documentation submitted by the company. Documentation should include information pertinent to the plants listed in the certification application. The audit is performed by independent third-party auditors selected by NRMCA.
At last month’s NRMCA ConcreteWorks event held just outside Las Vegas, two NRMCA Producer members were recognized as the first ready mixed concrete producers to earn the certification:
- Chaney Enterprises, Inc., Waldorf, MD - two plants
- ARGOS USA - three plants from South Carolina
Individuals from these companies were recognized for their diligence and patience in compiling the documentation and completing the certification criteria.