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Certification Program

Program Description

The Canadian Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute (CPCI) and the Canadian Concrete Pipe and Precast Association (CCPPA) are pleased to announce a new joint venture to establish an independent entity for an enhanced and expanded third-party administered and audited certification program for both prestressed and non-prestressed precast concrete manufacturing facilities across Canada.

Both the CPCI and CCPPA recognize the mutual benefit for owners, contractors, and the precast concrete industry by combining the strengths of two well-established national plant certification programs, CPCI Certification Program for Structural, Architectural and Specialty Products and Production Processes (CPCI Certification) and the Plant Prequalification Program for Precast Concrete Drainage Products (PPP), into the new Canadian Precast Concrete Quality Assurance (CPCQA) Certification Program.

The new CPCQA Certification Program will be more effective, independent, transparent, and provide clarity for some precast concrete product groups that may have been unclear under the two separate certification programs.

The CPCQA Certification Program is a newly formed corporation under the Canada Not-for-profit Corporation Act which will impartially operate the new precast concrete plant certification program, and will be governed by its own Board of Directors and advised by a new Quality Assurance Council (QAC). Bill LeBlanc Consulting has been retained as the Managing Director who will report directly to the Board and carry out all the duties that the two industry associations previously performed for their respective certification programs.

The engineering firms for both existing certification programs (CPCI and CCPPA) will continue as the plant auditors under a newly formed independent and third-party Accredited Certification Organization (ACO) called Canadian Certification Services Inc. (CCS). The ACO will report directly to the CPCQA QAC which will be comprised of representatives from provincial and municipal levels of government, consulting and architectural firms, precast concrete manufacturers, and other industry experts.

CPCQA Organizational Chart

For more information on precast and prestressed concrete products, please visit:

For more information on concrete pipe and precast concrete drainage products, please visit:

Quality Assurance Reporting Program

The purpose of the CPCQA is to protect and advance the best interests of (a) the concrete pipe and precast concrete products industry in Canada; and (b) the structural precast/prestressed concrete industry, the architectural precast concrete industry and the specialty precast concrete industry in Canada, and to protect and serve the public from a safety perspective, by certifying manufacturers who demonstrate the ability to meet national standards and other best practices.

If you are an owner or specifier and have a concern on the quality of the precast concrete from a CPCQA certified plant, please download the Quality Concern Reporting Form and complete. Return the form to All concerns are kept confidential within the Quality Assurance Council (QAC).

Program Requirements

Manufacturers are required to:

  • Establish and maintain the highest standard of integrity, skill and practice in the design and fabrication of their products and systems,
  • Undertake the performance of only those services and produce only those products for which they are qualified,
  • Not knowingly associate with, or permit the use of their name or the Accredited Certification Organization's name in any business venture by any person or firm that they know, or have reason to believe is engaged in questionable or unprofessional practices,
  • Be in compliance with current governing codes and regulations, and
  • Supply products only from a production facility that is certified under the CPCQA Certification Program.

The manufacturing of structural and architectural precast concrete products must be in accordance with the requirements of the latest editions of CSA Standard A23.4 and the PCI Quality Control Manuals MNL-116 and 117 (US equivalent), with the more stringent requirements being the governing criteria.

CSA Standards:

  • A23.1 - Concrete materials and methods of concrete construction
  • A23.2 - Methods of test and standard practices for concrete
  • A23.3 - Design of Concrete Structures
  • A23.4 - Precast concrete - Materials and Construction
  • S6 - Canadian Highway Bridge Design Code
  • B66 - Design, material and manufacturing requirements for prefabricated septic tanks and sewage holding tanks

Quality Assurance Council Documents

  • CPCQA Quality Audit Manual
  • CPCI Fifth Edition Design Manual
  • CPCI Architectural Precast Concrete - Colour and Texture Selection Guide

Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute (US)

  • PCI Manual for Quality Control for Plants and Production of Precast and Prestressed Concrete Products - MNL-116
  • PCI Manual for Quality Control for Plants and Production of Architectural Precast Concrete Products - MNL-117

Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute Documents

  • PCI Design Handbook
  • PCI Architectural Precast Concrete Manual

Quality System Manual for Architectural and Structural Precast Concrete Products

Manufacturers are required to develop, maintain and submit a plant-specific Quality System Manual for approval, by the Accredited Certification Organization.

Quality Assurance Requirements for Precast Concrete Drainage Products

Quality Control Personnel within the manufacturing facilities of precast concrete drainage products shall require certification consisting of ACI Concrete Field Testing Technician Grade 1 and achieve greater than a 90% mark in the Plant Prequalification Requirements for Precast Concrete Drainage Products exam which is valid for 5 years.

The plant shall have a minimum of one person from Quality Control and one person from Production successfully passing the PPP exam. Refer to the Prequalification Requirements for Precast Concrete Drainage Products (Rev. 15), Section 12.0 for more information.

Steps To Becoming CPCQA Certified as a Member of CPCI or CCPPA

  • Permanent Plants complete Expression of Interest (EOI) for membership with either CPCI or CCPPA
  • Once EOI has been reviewed and approved, Permanent Plants complete membership application and submit completed application with annual membership fees, payable to CPCI or CCPPA
  • Single Project Plants (Contractors) complete the CPCI or CCPPA non-member surcharge application (as applicable), and submit the application with non-member surcharge fees to CPCI
  • All Plants complete and submit an application for certification, to CPCQA. This includes the first year annual fees for certification, paid in advance, with these fees payable to the Accredited Certification Organization (ACO) - Canadian Certification Services
  • Once all fees are received, CPCQA forwards completed certification application to ACO
  • Plant writes Quality System Manual (QSM) and forwards to ACO for review
  • ACO reviews the QSM - Plant makes necessary adjustments to QSM and ACO approves
  • Plant schedules a two day pre-certification evaluation with ACO
  • ACO writes pre-certification audit report identifying items that require attention, prior to scheduling of First Audit
  • Plant responds to ACO on corrections. First audit is scheduled within 45 days from the pre-certification evaluation
  • After successfully passing First Audit, Plant is certified, and certificate is issued by CPCQA
  • Plant Personnel complete PCI Level I and/or Level II Training Course (Note: For Single Project Plants this must be completed prior to First Audit)


Any qualified manufacturer located in Canada or the United States who produces structural precast concrete products, architectural precast concrete products, and concrete pipe, manhole sections and precast concrete drainage products and complies with the requirements of the CPCQA Certification Program is eligible for participation. The Manufacturer must establish, document and apply an internal Quality System in conformance with CPCQA Certification Program standards.

For Manufacturers of CSA A23.4 products, the Manufacturer must employ or engage the services of a registered professional engineer to be responsible for technical adherence to product design, transportation and erection. This engineer must approve or reject variances that occur during manufacturing, transportation and erection.


Quality Audits are the heart of the precast certification program. Audits ensure manufacturers have a quality system in place to which production practices consistently adhere. Audits ensure conformance to national standards and that the requirements of the precast certification program are achieved. Audits evaluate and identify areas requiring upgrading or corrective action (continual improvement), along with reinforcing appropriate follow-through.

Plant certification may be cancelled at any time.

Number of Audits

For structural and architectural precast concrete facilities, there are a minimum of two regular audits in each full calendar year for a Manufacturer with ongoing participation. Audits are two days in duration unless otherwise designated by the ACO.

For precast concrete drainage products, production facilities are inspected at least once a year by the ACO to ensure that quality control and the standard of workmanship are being maintained at a satisfactory level. This is considered an intermediate inspection. 6 months after an intermediate inspection, each plant must submit an Interim Report to the ACO to provide details of any quality control testing and verify that all record keeping has been maintained during this period. Every third year, the ACO undertakes a detailed inspection and testing of each plant.

Purpose of Audits

  • Determine the conformity or nonconformity of the manufacturer's quality system and finished products with the specified requirements,
  • Determine the effectiveness of the implemented quality system in meeting specified quality objectives,
  • Provide the Manufacturer with an opportunity to improve their quality system,
  • Confirm that the Manufacturer meets the regulatory requirements.

Grading Requirements for CSA 23.4 Products

The Accredited Certification Organization, using a detailed audit, determines a grade for each Division of the CPCQA Audit Manual, a grade for each Product Group and the Overall Plant Quality.

Accredited Certification Organization

Adherence to the CPCQA Certification Program is monitored by the Accredited Certification Organization that is responsible to conduct quality audits in a fair and objective manner with equal treatment of all Manufacturers.

All of ACO auditors are licensed Professional Engineers, or a Certified Engineering Technologist under the supervision of a Professional Engineer, approved by the Quality Assurance Council, and trained in the evaluation of precast concrete manufacturing plants and procedures.

Governing Body

Quality Assurance Council

The Corporation shall have a special advisory council ("Quality Assurance Council"). The Quality Assurance Council's role shall be to:

  1. Establish auditing criteria and grading standards for the Program;
  2. Provide administrative review to ensure that Program requirements are administered uniformly and are followed by all manufacturers;
  3. Develop, review and approve all literature related to the Program;
  4. Initiate and oversee ACO policies and manuals;
  5. Make recommendations to the Board on the qualification standards and requirements for plant pre-qualification and certification applications;
  6. Make recommendations to the Board on the qualification standards and requirements for accreditation of Accredited Certification Organizations

The Quality Assurance Council may make recommendations from time to time for the consideration of the Board; however the Board has final decision-making responsibility as the Directors are responsible for the management and supervision of the activities and affairs of the Corporation.


For more questions and to request an application for CPCQA Certification, please email us at




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