For years masonry contractors have expressed  concerns about inconsistent field and lab test results on their projects. There can be several reasons for these problems. Many material testing labs only sporadically conduct these procedures so technician proficiency isn’t a good when compared to fresh concrete testing.  Training for lab and field technicians may be lacking in some regions. And there could be regional difference with some portions of procedures.

For the last three years, there’s been a committee effort to develop a national certification approach for both field and lab masonry technicians. The group included a dedicated group of testing labs, masonry associations and industry professionals. The goal was to launch unified approach to national technician certification. The effort was successful.

Last month at the ACI Fall 2014 Convention, Committee C670 Masonry Technician Certification met for the first time. The American Concrete Institute (ACI), in cooperation with The Masonry Society (TMS) and other industry organizations, has developed the two new certification programs. The programs provide are Masonry Field Testing Technicians (MFTT) and Masonry Laboratory Testing Technicians (MLTT). The programs recognize qualified technicians and help to ensure testing is performed properly.

This this program is a bold move to increased quality and should reduce the jobsite conflict.

But there’s even a greater industry benefit from the committee’s work TMS has developed a complementary educational review session to aid field and lab technicians in the preparation for the certification examinations. This review session is often conducted just prior to the written and practical certification exams.

TMS conducted a review session followed by the certification exam a few weeks ago in Phoenix. According to TMS,  the inaugural program was effective. On the first day students take a half-day of classroom instruction followed by test demonstrations to familiarize attendees with the test methods and provide an opportunity for the attendees to practice them. The second full day is a written examination followed by a performance examination of individual tests required to meet the ACI Certification for MFTT or MLTT.

TMS is offering the lab program in Los Angeles on November 13-14 and San Francisco on November 17-18. Additional sessions are being scheduled for 2015. These would excellent opportunities to upgrade your quality control program

To learn more about these sessions, visit