AISC Certification


June 2021 Updates

Certification Changes Coming in 2021

This new page explores all the different resources at your disposal for the Standard for Certification Programs (AISC 207-20). Whether you are looking for the Standard or how its updates will affect your QMS, you’ll find it here on this easy-to-navigate page. You’ll also be able to review a series of audit guides based on what certification or endorsement you hold, plus the new Hydraulic Navigation Guide that provides information about the Standard’s new sixth chapter. Be sure to check them all out!

207-20 Resources

Updated!

Standard for Certification Programs

The updated AISC 207-20 features a new title, Standard for Certification Programs, and a brand-new sixth chapter for the certification of hydraulic metal structures. Also, this edition increases clarity with italicized text highlighting glossary-defined terms, terminology changes to account for digital documentation, and expanded commentary.  

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A New Chapter for AISC Certification

By Larry Martof, Director of Quality Management Company

2021 has brought a new chapter to AISC Certification Programs. I’m not talking about turning over a metaphorical new leaf for the new year, remote assessments, Zoom meetings, or any of that; I mean a real, brand-new chapter all about hydraulics!

The Certification Standards Committee (CSC) has been hard at work. The Certification Standard for Steel Fabrication and Erection, and Manufacturing of Metal Components (207-16) has changed its name to the Standard for Certification Programs (207-20) and has added a brand-new hydraulic chapter. 

I’m going to refer to the new document as “207-20” for the rest of this document, to make it easier to read. Bear with me--it’ll be worth it, I promise.

The general requirements in Chapter 1 of 207-20 serve as a basis for everything that follows in all programs. From there, separate chapters of supplemental requirements tailor and enhance the general requirements of a specific certification program. 

Following the release of the 207-16 in 2016, AISC formed a hydraulic task group to define the requirements that would become Chapter 6. This task group consisted of representatives from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, fabricators, industry experts, AISC Certification staff, and QMC auditors. The group drafted a comprehensive set of supplemental requirements in two categories: Hydraulic Fabricator and Advanced Hydraulic Fabricator that includes fracture critical criteria.

This revision to 207-20 also adds clarity through an expanded glossary, more commentary, and improved alignment of sections and sub-sections. 207-20’s glossary terms also reflect the terms seen in the upcoming revisions to the Code of Standard Practice for Steel Buildings and Bridges and the Specification for Structural Steel Buildings. It’s worth noting that the term “quality assurance” (QA) has been given a unique meaning in 207-20 that differs from how it is used in Chapter N of the Specification for Structural Steel Buildings. 207-20 definition of QA conforms with its use in implementing quality management systems. For example, “shop drawings” are now called “fabrication documents” to better reflect how information is conveyed to the shop. This information takes many forms as technology continues to transition how we work. The old, large paper prints of drawings are being replaced with 3D models, tablets, automation, robotics, and eventually even virtual manufacturing and holograms!

We’ve also made adjustments to better explain concepts and practices of calibration, corrective action, nonconformance, types of inspection, and welding controls. Words like “product” and “service” have been replaced by “work,” which can be applied to anything one does. When you are reading 207-20 and see a term in italics, you’ll know to refer to the glossary for its definition.

Here’s the bottom line for our participants: 

  • Everyone will find the revised 207-20 easier to understand and use.
  • The revised title (Standard for Certification Programs) more accurately reflects its current use and allows us to simply add and integrate more chapters as the industry continues to evolve.
  • To comply with the new Chapter 6, current participants in the hydraulic certification program must decide which category of certification best suits their business needs.

Find out more in Bulletin 2021-01

Bulletin 2021-01 describes how we’ll transition to the updated AISC 207-20, along with the effective date and auditing processes that everyone will be following. It’ll also describe resources available to you, such as 207-20 Audit Guides and upcoming sessions at NASCC: The Virtual Steel Conference, which includes QualityCon. You won’t want to miss it!

207-20 Highlighted Version

As detailed above, the updated AISC 207-20 features a new title, Standard for Certification Programs, and f you’re wondering what all has changed, why don’t you check out this “highlighted-version” of the Standard. All the changes will jump right off the page for you.

207-20 Audit Guides

The 207-20 Audit Guides will help you transition between the older documents (Certification Standard for Steel Fabrication and Erection and AISC 207-16 Manufacturing of Metal Components) and the updated Standard for Certification Programs (AISC 207-20). These handy tools will help identify gaps between your quality management systems (QMS) and the updated Standard, or you can use it as a starting point to implement management systems that meet the certification requirements. It can also be useful if you’re considering pursuing additional certifications or endorsements.

Hydraulic Navigation Guide

There's a brand-new Chapter 6 for Hydraulic Structures - so, you might be asking yourself, how does my current certification compare? Take a look at the Hydraulic Navigation Guide! If you’re a certified Bridge and/or Hydraulic Structures fabricators, this guide will help you in identifying the gaps between your current certification and the new hydraulic certification categories (Hydraulic Fabricator and Advanced Hydraulic Fabricator that includes fracture critical criteria) found in the Standard for Certification Programs (AISC 207-20).

Timeline of Events

207-20 Timeline

QualityCon and NASCC: The Virtual Steel Conference

QualityCon 2021 returns this year at NASCC: The Virtual Steel Conference! QualityCon offers sessions for structural steel fabricators and erectors to learn more about quality management systems (QMS) and AISC Certification. This year’s program should be particularly exciting, given the recent release of the Standard for Certification Programs (AISC 207-20) and updates to the Governing Requirements for Certification Programs and the Specification for Structural Joints Using High-Strength Bolts. 

Wondering what these changes mean for you? Look no further than QualityCon, where you’ll find two sessions about these documents, plus 15 more quality-focused sessions. The Virtual Steel Conference runs April 12-16, and one low registration fee gets you access to the whole conferenceBe sure to check out sessions Q1 & Q2 below, which will cover the AISC 207-20 and other upcoming 2021 changes to the certification program. 

Q1: Certification Forum

Join us to kick off QualityCon and learn about all the new developments in AISC Certification, including revisions to the Standard for Certification Programs, updates to our Governing Requirements, and an update on remote assessments. Attendees will have the opportunity to get answers to their certification and audit-related questions.

Q2: Get to Know the Updates to the Standard for Certification Programs (AISC 207-20)

The AISC Standard for Certification Programs (AISC 207) has seen ongoing revisions and updates since its initial publication in 2016. We are adding a Hydraulic Metal Structures chapter, which has been in the works since 2018, as well as additional clarifications to the other five sections. Come and find out how the changes will affect you and your next audit.

Your AISC 207-20 Questions

When does the updated AISC 207-20 take effect?

The updated Standard will take effect for anyone having an audit on or after June 1, 2021, for both current participants and applicants. Auditors will then begin issuing Areas of Concerns (AOCs) for noncompliance with any new or updated criteria from the Standard. QMC auditors use AOCs to inform you of recent changes to the Governing Requirements, the Standard, and/or other normative reference documents.

If the auditor issues an AOC, they will review the AOC at the following audit. If you do not effectively resolve an AOC before the next audit, the auditor will issue a Corrective Action Request (CAR).

What’s changed in the updated AISC 207-20?

The 207-20 Audit Guides will help you transition between older documents, like the Certification Standard for Steel Fabrication and Erection and Manufacturing of Metal Components (AISC 207-16), and the updated Standard for Certification Programs (AISC 207-20). These handy tools will help identify gaps between your quality management systems (QMS) and the updated Standard, or you can use it as a starting point to implement management systems that meet the certification requirements. It can also be useful if you’re considering pursuing additional certifications or endorsements.

Is AISC going to offer training on the 207-20?

There will be two sessions at QualityCon about the AISC 207-20 and other upcoming 2021 changes to the certification program. Be sure to check out Q1: Certification Forum and Q2: Get to Know the Updates to the Standard for Certification Programs happening on April 12, 2021. 

The Virtual Steel Conference runs April 12-16, and one low registration fee gets you access to the whole conference plus QualityCon.

How will the new Hydraulic Chapter affect my current certifications?

There's a brand-new Chapter 6 for Hydraulic Structures - so, you might be asking yourself, how does my current certification compare? Take a look at the Hydraulic Navigation Guide! If you’re a certified Bridge and/or Hydraulic Structures fabricators, this guide will help you in identifying the gaps between your current certification and the new hydraulic certification categories (Hydraulic Fabricator and Advanced Hydraulic Fabricator that includes fracture critical criteria) found in the Standard for Certification Programs (AISC 207-20).

As an applicant, could Areas of Concerns (AOCs) for the AISC 207-20 be issued during my Stage 2 Audit?

Yes, anyone audited after June 1, 2021, will be audited to the AISC 207-20—regardless of the date when you applied. The AOC will simply show you where your current quality management system differs from the AISC 207-20.

If the auditor issues an AOC, they will review the AOC at the following audit. If you do not effectively resolve an AOC before the next audit, the auditor will issue a Corrective Action Request (CAR).

How often is the Standard for Certification Programs updated?

The Standard will be updated approximately every three years by the Certification Standards Committee, which is overseen by AISC’s Engineering and Research Department. Once the updated Standard is approved by the AISC Board of Directors, the Certification Program will implement the updated version the following June.

Your Governing Requirements Questions

When will the updated Requirements take effect?

The updated Requirements will take effect for anyone having an audit on or after June 1, 2021, for both current participants and applicants. Auditors will then begin issuing Areas of Concerns (AOCs) for noncompliance with any new or updated criteria from the Requirements. QMC auditors use AOCs to inform you of recent changes to the Governing Requirements, the Standard, and/or other normative reference documents.

If the auditor issues an AOC, they will review the AOC at the following audit. If you do not effectively resolve an AOC before the next audit, the auditor will issue a Corrective Action Request (CAR).

Is AISC going to offer training on the updated Requirements?

There will be one session at QualityCon about the updated Requirements and other upcoming 2021 changes to the certification program. Be sure to check out Q1: Certification Forum happening on April 12, 2021. 

The Virtual Steel Conference runs April 12-16, and one low registration fee gets you access to the whole conference plus QualityCon.

Other Questions You Might Have

Where can I find more quality-related resources?

Please visit the Certification Resources page for a wide-range of quality-related resources to help streamline your quality management system. From a non-conformance worksheet to an entire guide of required, normative and beneficial, informative references, these tools will simplify your daily tasks and improve your overall quality.

Why are you sending emails to someone who no longer works here?

We list your current principal, certification, A/P, marketing contacts on your annual invoice. If one of these happens to change, you need to update your Company Profile Form, as stated in: 

PR 1.11: “AISC relies on email to communicate with Applicants and Participants. Any changes to contact information MUST be provided to AISC. See PR4.9 concerning Company Profile. It is the Participant/Applicant’s responsibility to ensure communications are being received.”

Use the Company Profile Form to notify us. Please remember you have to contact AISC Certification and Membership separately of any staff profile changes.