The PCI Erector Certification Program is also known as the PCI Precast Concrete Erector Quality Management System Certification Program. The applicable standards and procedures for the program have been developed in accordance with ISO 10005, Quality Management Systems – Guidelines for Quality Plans, and ISO/IEC 17021, Conformity Assessment – Requirements for Bodies Providing Audit and Certification of Management Systems.
PCI is accredited by the American National Standards Institute as an accredited standards developer. The nature and scope of PCI’s standards development activities are to develop and maintain voluntary consensus standards for the design, detailing, fabrication, transportation, and erection of precast and precast, prestressed concrete products.
The PCI Erector Certification Program evaluates erectors of precast concrete products against published standards. Audits are conducted by Certified Company Auditors (CCAs) accredited by PCI. Erectors are evaluated on their management commitment to safety and quality, erection procedures, safety procedures, personnel, and equipment. PCI erector certification assures the project specifier and owner that the precast concrete erector has an acceptable in-house quality assurance program and has the capability to erect precast concrete products in compliance with the program’s standards under the guidance of a quality management system. An erector that meets the requirements set forth in the PCI Erector Certification Program shall be deemed a PCI-Certified Erector.
The standards (requirements) used for evaluation of an erector are published in the following PCI Quality Manuals:
- MNL-127, Erector’s Manual – Standards and Guidelines for the Erection of Precast Concrete Products
- MNL-132, Erection Safety for Precast and Prestressed Concrete
Erector Certification Program Procedures
These procedures are for the conditions of initial and continuing certification activities, which include application processing, the initial audit, and any additional surveillance audit(s); these procedures also list the requirements for granting, maintaining, reducing, suspending, and withdrawal of certification and recertification. These policies and procedures are also available in PCI Policies and Procedures Section 29.
- Client submits application and application fee to PCI.
- PCI begins processing of the application and accepts the application fee.
- Client submits their field quality audit reports (FQARs) and the associated erector’s post-audit declarations (EPADs) to PCI for review by PCI and PCI’s technical experts.
- Upon approval of the client’s FQAR and EPAD, the Stage 1 audit is concluded.
- Once the Stage 1 audit requirements have been met, the Stage 2 audit is underway. PCI schedules an external company quality auditor to conduct the erector’s initial certification audit. This first audit (initial audit) date is mutually agreed upon between the company auditor and the erector.
- Upon review of the company quality auditor’s report, the client then submits their responses to nonconformance items, which describe the client’s root-cause analysis of each nonconformance. The client is to include objective, fact-based evidence for the specific correction and the corrective actions that are taken, or are planned to be taken (preventive actions), to eliminate the detected nonconformities within a defined time.
- PCI and PCI’s technical experts review these two reports (company quality auditor’s report and client’s responses to nonconformance items).
- PCI then reviews the client’s application for certification and decides whether to grant the client PCI erector certification.
- Once the decision to grant certification is made, PCI will forward a certification contract to the erector. Once the erector returns the signed certification contract to PCI, PCI will then finalize the certification with an effective date and expiration date.
- To maintain certification, surveillance audits (field quality audits) are conducted by Certified Field Auditors twice throughout the year at a prescribed rate for each erector’s primary crews, and are a requirement of continuing certification activities, including recertification (company) audits. Passing company audits is a requirement for recertification, along with the client’s submittal of a renewal form, the applicable recertification fee, and assigned certification contract for the following PCI fiscal year.
- If an erector fails to submit FQARs for a specific certification category for two consecutive years, the erector will undergo a reduction of scope to their certification.
- A client can at any time request a special audit and pay the additional subsequent fee for this audit to extend their categorical scope of certification, but only after a completed FQAR has been submitted.
- A certified erector that does not erect any precast concrete for two years will be withdrawn from the program.
- A failed company audit grade will result in a special company audit.
- A failing audit grade during a special company audit will result in withdrawal of certification.
Please be aware of the following descriptions of the auditor’s tasks and requirements for complete compliance of company quality audits:
Auditor is to examine the erector’s structure, policies, processes, procedures, records, and related documents relevant to the precast concrete projects erected to determine whether it meets all the requirements relevant to the intended scope of certification consistent with the erector’s intended categorical certification and in compliance with PCI Quality Manuals MNL-127 and MNL-132. The auditor’s examination of the erector’s precast erection records will help him/her determine whether the processes and procedures are effectively established, implemented, and maintained such that they provide a basis for confidence in the client's management system.
- The auditor will communicate to the client, for its action, any inconsistencies between the client's policy, objectives, and targets, to ensure they are consistent with the expectations in PCI Quality Manuals MNL-127 and MNL-132.
- PCI will provide the name of and, when requested, make available background information on the auditor or audit team, with sufficient time for the client organization to object to the appointment of any particular auditor or technical expert and for PCI to reconstitute the team in response to any valid objection. This information has been made available on the erector certification application. An example of a valid objection would be that an auditor is a competitor of the applicant/participant.
- The auditor communicates the audit plan during all opening meetings, for all company audits. The dates of the company audits shall be agreed upon in advance. Special audits may or may not be agreed upon, depending on the terms of the special audit.