The Architectural Precast Association established the APA Plant Certification Program over 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.


The APA Plant Certification Program certifies plants that produce the following products: Architectural Precast, Architectural Cast Stone - Wet Pour, Architectural Cast Stone - Dry Tamp, Glass Fiber Reinforced Concrete (GFRC) and Precast Structural Concrete (03410).

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highly critical areas of personnel, record keeping and shop drawings and will have its Certificate of Certification withdrawn immediately.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.

You are required to document a minimum of 12 hours of continuing education over a three-year period and pay the renewal fee in the attached invoice. A certificant may opt to forgo the 12 hours of CE but must retest and pay any associated testing fees ($325.00).  Testing must place during the late-summer/early fall inspection in the year prior to expiration to prevent a lapse in certification.   A wide variety of educational opportunities count as continuing education.

The following are considered approved continuing education opportunities: 
  • Attending an APA educational event (max. 6 CEUs per event)
  • Attending other industry events through another approved provider, such as CSI/NPCA/World of Concrete/AIA (1 CEU earned for each 1 hour of education; max. of 8 CEUs per cycle)
  • Review/Update Plant's QC Manual (1 CEU earned for each 1 hour of education; max. of 2 CEUs per cycle)
  • Review Company Procedures (1 CEU earned for each 1 hour of education; max. of 1 CEU per cycle)
  • Review Case Study Articles (1 CEU earned for each 1 hour of education; max. of 3 CEUs per cycle)
  • Other training opportunities such as plant tours, site visits, lunch & learns, online training, OSHA courses, etc. (1 CEU earned for each 1 hour of education; max. of 6 CEUs per cycle).

Click HERE for the Continuing Education Log