The Canadian Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute (CPCI) and the Canadian Concrete Pipe and Precast Association (CCPPA) have merged their existing certification programs, the 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), creating an independently administered third-party audited certification program, the Canadian Precast Concrete Quality Assurance (CPCQA) Certification. The program combines the strengths and brand of the two existing programs into one stronger program.
How does the program operate, and what are the governance rules?
The program operates as a separate entity from both CPCI and CCPPA. Although CPCI and CCPPA fund the annual operations, the CPCI Board of Directors and the CCPPA Board of Directors are not involved in the operation of this program. Likewise, CPCI and CCPPA staff are not involved in the operations nor do they participate as part of the new Quality Assurance Council. CPCI and CCPPA are involved in marketing the CPCQA program to the construction industry and to government agencies as part of introducing and advancing the program to various audiences.
This joint venture is incorporated under the Canada Not-for-profit Corporations Act and complies with all the governance rules of the act, as well as a jointly signed services agreement between CCPPA and CPCI. The bylaws are in accordance with Corporations Canada guidelines.
The program is governed by its own Board of Directors. A Quality Assurance Council (QAC) reports directly to the Board, as does the Managing Director for the program. The ACO reports directly to the QAC.
What is the composition and role of the CPCQA Quality Assurance Council (QAC)?
Composition of Quality Assurance Council
Similar to the councils from the previous certification programs, the Quality Assurance Council has a minimum of ten and a maximum of twenty-four committee members:
Role of the Quality Assurance Council
Similar to the councils from the previous certification programs, the Quality Assurance Councilís role is to plan, formulate, oversee and review the CPCQA Certification Program. The QAC also:
The Quality Assurance Council may make recommendations from time to time for the consideration of the CPCQA Board. However, the CPCQA Board has final decision making responsibility as the Directors are responsible for the management and supervision of the activities and affairs of the CPCQA.
What is the Accredited Certification Organization and what are its duties?
The former engineering/inspection companies that acted separately as the Accredited Certification Organization (ACO) for the two prior certification programs have formed a new combined entity, Canadian Certification Services (CCS), to serve as one Accredited Certification Organization (ACO) for the program:
ACO for the former CPCI Certification Program
Wayne Kassian, P.Eng.
Kassian Dyck & Associates
ACO for the former PPP Certification Program
Brian Clarke, P.Eng.
PROCHK Engineering Inspections Inc.
New ACO for CPCQA
Canadian Certification Services
ACO appointed Directors to the CPCQA QAC:
Wayne Kassian, P.Eng.
Brian Clarke, P.Eng.
Duties of the Accredited Certification Organization
The principal duty of the Accredited Certification Organization is to inspect and grade all precast plants across Canada in accordance with the Canadian Precast Concrete Quality Assurance (CPCQA) Certification Program Requirements.
What will be the Program Content?
The initial program content is the amalgamation of the 2 existing certification program documents into one Canadian Precast Concrete Quality Assurance (CPCQA) document: the previous CPCI v1.7 Certification Program Requirements document, and the previous (rev. 15) PPP Program Requirements. Accordingly, the audits were unchanged at the outset, and the plants will be audited under this new program in name only. In the CPCQA v1 Certification Program Requirements document, the only changes to the prior program content documents were administrative in nature and were completed as an upfront Special Provision to the two merged program requirement documents, in order to support full transparency.
Will the Program Content change over time?
Over time the new CPCQA QAC may make changes to the program that may or may not affect one or both of the old audits. This will be the purview of the new CPCQA QAC, and upon approval of their own independent Board of Directors, which have similar governance protocols to the 2 former programs.
Will the Certification Programs overlap for some time?
The CPCI and PPP programs both ceased to exist on January 1, 2018, at which time both programs continued under the administration of one singular entity, the CPCQA.
Regarding currently CPCI certified plants, in January they were issued new CPCQA certificates along with a supporting letter that indicated that the plant was formerly certified under the CPCI certification program and that CPCI endorses the CPCQA program.
Regarding PPP certified plants, in January they were issued new CPCQA certificates that will expire on the same date as their current PPP expiration. CPCQA certificates for plants producing drainage products will continue to have a Schedule A that provides details on products and sizes that have been certified at the plant under the CPCQA program.
Regarding specifications, CPCQA issued a letter to all Provincial MOT's, and to AEC contacts, asking that they adopt the new program as a replacement to the two existing programs, and have suggested new specification wording (see: www.precastcertification.ca). For pre-existing or soon-to-be-signed project supply agreements (at the time), it was suggested that the Owner or General Contractor consider asking the supplier for an amendment to their existing supply agreement, similar to the following:
Pursuant to our agreement dated ____ in which Supplier agreed to be compliant under the CPCI Program during the term of the supply agreement, we understand that the CPCI Program as previously carried on by the Canadian Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute has been subsumed by and is part of a certification program now conducted by Canadian Precast Concrete Quality Assurance Certification Program. Supplier hereby agrees that effective January 1, 2018, during the remaining term of this supply agreement, Supplier shall be compliant under the certification program administered bythe Canadian Precast Concrete Quality Assurance Certification Program (or any successor or replacement program as approved by Canadian PrecastConcrete Quality Assurance Certification Program).
Does the Plant Prequalification Requirements for Precast Concrete Drainage Products exam from the former PPP still exist?
Yes. This exam is still required under the CPCQA program for precasters producing drainage products. A passing mark of 90% or higher is required. The exam must be renewed every 5 years. To arrange for an exam-writing for any of your employees during your next inspection, please contact Brian Clarke at (519) 594-2430 to make arrangements.
Are the PCI Level I and Level II Requirements for plants that produce according to CSA A23.4 still in force?
Yes, these credentials are still required and CPCI continues to hold those schools in Canada under a continuing agreement with PCI.
How can I tell if a concrete precast drainage product is prequalified under the CPCQA certification program? What other markings might I expect to find on certified drainage products?
All drainage products prequalified under the CPCQA certification program are labelled with a Prequalification Stamp. Prequalification Stamp means the stylized 'P', inside a black triangle, as illustrated below:
All drainage products are/shall be marked in accordance with the requirements of applicable manufacturing standards.
The Prequalification Stamp is not to be used on any drainage product for which the plant is not prequalified to supply.
What is a) the expected lead time to start a new certification process and b) the time to certification?
The process starts when certification fees and other related surcharges are paid. Please do not hesitate to contact CPCQA for an estimate of certification costs.
Once fees are paid, allow approximately 4 weeks to schedule a pre-certification evaluation date.
The shortest time frame for achieving certification has been 3-4 months for simple and/or well-advanced and organized operations. Many factors, including multiple products, complexity of products, current state of quality assurance program, personnel, manufacturing processes, and manufacturer's commitment all affect the length of time to achieve certification. A more typical time frame to achieve full certification is 6-9 months.
What is the non-member surcharge for?
CPCQA operations are funded by member dues paid to the 2 member associations, CPCI and CCPPA. As such, non-members of CPCI or CCPPA who would like to participate in the CPCQA certification program are charged non-member fees to cover an appropriate portion of operation costs.
My plant is certified for drainage products. Why did my certification date on my certificate and Schedule A change?
CPCQA looks forward to offering owners, specifiers, and manufacturers additional value and synergies through a coast-to-coast certification program that certifies a wider range of precast products than either of the 2 former CPCI and CCPPA programs did. Some administration alignment is required to build this value from one platform. As such, drainage product plants have been migrated to the same certification date system as is used for structural/architectural plants. In this system, certificate dates are administered for Jan 31 - Jan 31; however, audit frequency will not change and will take place throughout the year, according to the same audit calendar as previously used for each manufacturer respectively.
I am in the process of getting my plant certified for the first time. Why does my plant not show up as "Pending" on the plant certification list at www.precastcertification.ca?
There is no "Pending" classification in the CPCQA program. Once you have completed all steps necessary to become certified in the program, your plant will be added to the website-certified plant list, along with a list of products that the audit process showed your plant is capable of producing to necessary quality standards.
Does CPCQA certify a plant's ability to manufacture to AWWA standards?
CPCQA does not provide compliance inspections for AWWA steel cylinder type pipe products, (regardless of application) including C300, 301 and 303.
CPCQA does certify a plant's ability to manufacture reinforced concrete pressure pipe non-cylinder type in accordance with AWWA C302 when the product is specified for use in drainage and sewer applications.
W: precastcertification.ca | E: QACAdministrator@precastcertification.ca