Certification Articles - July 2019

Changes to Policy 20 (PCI Plant Certification Program)

At its June meeting, the PCI Board of Directors approved a series of changes to PCI’s Plant Certification Program. These changes fell generally into three categories:

  1. Incorporation of the planned changes for the Architectural Certification Program.
  2. Changes to the financial aspects of the program.
  3. Ongoing maintenance of the standard, including changes required in accordance with our IAS accreditation or those being made in response to issues that have arisen since the last revision of Policy 20 was approved.

The current architectural products group includes categories A1 (Architectural Cladding and Load Bearing Units) and AT (Architectural Trim). Effective June 30, 2020, category A1 will be discontinued and will be replaced by four separate categories (AA, AB, AC, and AD). Category AT will continue. All architectural certifications issued effective July 1, 2020, will be in one of the five new categories. The revised Policy 20 includes a description of the five categories, as well as reference to these dates and supplemental requirements for the new program. 

The timing of financial notices and consequences for late payments have been revised.  Plants will now receive an initial past-due notice from PCI when their accounts are 30 days overdue, with a notice that finance charges will begin accruing. Another notice will follow at 60 days. At 90 days, the plant’s certification and audits will be suspended and notice provided that the certification will be withdrawn if the account is not current within the next 30 days. At 120 days, certification will be withdrawn. Previously, the initial notice was at 90 days and subsequent notices regarding certification suspension and withdrawal followed at 120 and 150 days, respectively. 

There were a variety of other changes; some of the significant changes included:

  1. Applicant plants will have 15 months to complete the certification process.
  2. Existing clients who open or acquire new, uncertified plants will have 15 months to have those plants complete the certification process.
  3. Plants that do not have active production for a period of more than 1 month are to notify PCI.
  4. Certification for a plant cannot be renewed unless the plant has been audited at least once during the prior 12 months.

A full copy of the revised Policy 20 will be emailed to all plants in a few weeks.

Changes to Policy 29 (PCI Erector Certification Program)

At its June meeting, the PCI Board of Directors approved a change to PCI’s Erector Certification Program requiring that all certified erectors have at least one employee who has current certification as a Certified Field Auditor (CFA) or is currently registered for a CFA training class and is certified by the next company audit. Previously, only applicant erector companies were required to have a CFA on staff or registered for the class to be eligible for certification.  This requirement has now been extended to existing certified erectors. A full copy of the revised Policy 29 will be emailed to all erectors within a few weeks.

Exceptional Precast Practices Deadline is August 15

Companies that have successfully adopted a path of continuous quality improvement typically exhibit a pattern of reduced costs, improved quality, and expanded capabilities. They show growing sales because they better serve the needs of their clients.

There are a variety of tools available, but are you looking for a continuous quality improvement tool developed specifically for the precast concrete industry? The Exceptional Precast Practices (EPP) program, developed by the Quality Enhancement Committee, offers both a roadmap for your efforts and milestones for measuring your progress.

Born out of the QA 2020 Vision Program, the key working committees at PCI have set forth a self-assessment and the process steps that provide both the roadmap and the milestones for continuous improvement.

Here is how it works: Your plant fills out the self-assessment survey for each of the seven sections/modules – Productivity, Personnel, Safety, Field operations, Sales and marketing, Sustainable plant, and Concrete. This process allows your plant to not only benchmark where you are today but also review programs of proven worth that other PCI plants find valuable.

That process allows plant personnel to decide on a roadmap for the future. If this process is managed well, that roadmap becomes the goals and programs for improvement, and it provides the basis for accountability for achievement. Your benchmark score allows your plant to actually measure progress from year to year. There is no minimum score required. This is not a contest. Scores will not be published. There is no overall winner. All participants who take the program seriously win. All participating plants are provided with an annual certificate of participation and are recognized at the PCI Committee Days and Membership Conference.

To participate or to read more about the program, click here to access the Members Only section of the PCI website. To receive recognition for 2019, completed forms must be returned to PCI by August 15.


Please forward suggestions for future quality-related articles for this newsletter to Mike Kesselmayer at mkesselmayer@pci.org.