Architectural Precast Concrete products have grown in popularity as a building product due to the key benefits of economy, versatility, durability and universal availability. With its increased use, a highly specialized industry has developed, which requires an equally specialized system of quality control procedures.
The Architectural Precast Association established the APA Plant Certification Program twenty years ago to provide Architects with added assurance that their chosen architectural precast facility had in place an independently monitored quality control system. Since the program’s inception, architects, engineers and governmental agencies nationwide have welcomed it as a standard of quality precast concrete production and as an equivalent to PCI certification. We are proud to report that the American Institute of Architects’ Master Spec®, SpecLink® and 4-Specs® contain APA Certification and the program is included in the Unified Facility Guide Specification used by all the armed forces and NASA.
Obtaining and maintaining APA Certification is no small feat. Each plant undergoes two unannounced inspections per year, which span an entire casting cycle and cover well over one hundred check points. Each check point is graded as pass/fail (APA does not recognize partial credit). In fact, a plant will immediately fail if it cannot pass each of more than twenty mandatory items which encompass highly critical areas of personnel, record keeping and shop drawings and will have its Certificate of Certification withdrawn immediately. There is no grace period; therefore, a plant cannot continue to function as a certified plant. The modifications to its quality control procedures must be accomplished and verified by another inspection before certification status is re-instated.
The APA also requires each Certified Plant to hold Level I and II Quality Control Personnel designations, which cover precast and architectural precast products, whereas other certification program designations are limited exclusively to prestressed concrete. In addition, the APA Plant Certification Program is the only inspection program that requires the person who mixes your concrete to pass a rigorous competency examination to achieve the designation of Certified Central Mix Batch Plant Operator. See below for more details on the certification process.
APA Certification Program Guide - Certification in Four Steps! Click Here