As an association focused on value-added services, VAA’s education arm, Virginia Asphalt Association Educational Services, LLC (VAAES), launched the Asphalt Lab Review program in January 2021, and it’s a hit! The program is a by-request service for VAA members and non-members with asphalt labs. VAA technical staff review the equipment, set-up, and operations of asphalt labs to assess compliance with AASHTO, VDOT, and other criteria. There has always been the annual VDOT lab inspection, and each technician is evaluated through the Materials Certification School (MCS) Proficiency Exam process to cover the individual test procedures. The VAAES Lab Review helps bridge the gap between these two processes. Labs that pass the inspection receive a letter from VAA that will be suitable for framing. If deficiencies are noted during the review, a letter is provided to the company contact explaining what was observed. Once the company corrects any deficiencies, they can request another no-cost follow-up review. Mike Dudley, Director at VAA, added, “The benefits of the program have proven to extend both ways. While the primary purpose is to review and offer input to each lab, we all walk away having learned something new with each review.”
By the end of March 2021, VAA staff had reviewed seven labs, with four completing the process and receiving the final review letter. Each lab reviewed to date has only had positive remarks regarding the program. Andre Royal, Asphalt Quality Control Manager for Boxley, said it best, “We really appreciate the opportunity to have an outside party come into our labs and point out areas of improvement. The benefits of not only the review but the discussions regarding general improvements and best practices have proven invaluable.”
This service is complimentary for VAA members and also available to non-members. Take advantage of this new service. Lab reviews are scheduled on a first-come, first-served basis in coordination with VAA technical staff availability. Why not see how your lab stacks up?