Construction Materials Engineering and Testing Section
Soil Testing Technician Certification
Addressing decades of concern regarding the certification of engineering technicians performing construction materials testing, ACIL is undertaking the development of a national program, starting with soil and aggregate testing technicians. Various certification programs have existed for many years; some serve much of the US while others focus on a region or state. Often these programs meet the needs of both the testing community and the private or public entities that procure the services, but many regions of the country are not served by a credible program.
In response to the need for a cohesive national program, ACIL representatives have identified an existing regional program, the NorthEast Transportation Training and Certification Program (NETTCP), as a potential partner for the basis of a national program. Established in 1995 in response to the adoption of Federal Highway Administration regulations requiring qualified sampling and testing personnel produce all sampling and testing data related to federally funded transportation projects, NETTCP serves Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont and New York with certifications covering a number of technical areas, including soils, aggregates, concrete, hot mix, drilled piers and asphalt. The NETTCP program includes essential elements of training, performance demonstration and examination.
ACIL and NETTCP are currently discussing the essential elements of a partnering agreement resulting in ACIL resources expanding the soils technician certifications to other regions of the country outside the northeast states and eventually the entire US. Significant advantages to such an agreement include the fact that existing training and certification manuals, examinations, policies and administrative procedures are already developed and functioning effectively.
Once the partnership arrangement is defined, future needs of the program likely include further development of program policies and procedures to meet the increased demand for certifications across a much larger area. Additional development of computer-based training, examination and administration are additional consideration to enhance what is currently a very effective program.