Frequently Asked Questions

Thank you for your interest in AISC Certification. Below are answers to our most frequently asked questions.

Please refer to the AISC Governing Requirements for Certification Programs (hereinafter referred to as GRs). The GRs detail the administration of the certification program from application to certificate determination. They are your reference for compliance with our program and administrative processes.

If you have any certification questions that are not answered below, please contact us at certification@aisc.org or 312.670.7520.


What is AISC certification?

AISC certification confirms to owners, the design community, the construction industry, and public officials that certified participants have the personnel, organization, experience, documented procedures, knowledge, equipment, and commitment to quality control and quality assurance.

What is the difference between an endorsement and a certification?

An endorsement reflects a participant's adherence to any additional requirements for specialized steel fabrication or erection on a project. See below for our current selection of certifications and endorsements.

Fabricator Program

Certifications: Certified Building Fabricator (BU), Certified Bridge Fabricator - Simple (SBR), Certified Bridge Fabricator - Intermediate (IBR), Certified Bridge Fabricator - Advanced (ABR), Certified Highway Component Manufacturer (CPT), Certified Hydraulic Fabricator (HYD), Certified Hydraulic Fabricator - Advanced (HYDA)

Endorsements: Complex Coatings Endorsement - Enclosed, Covered and Exposed (CCE-1, CCE-2 and CCE-3), Fracture Control Endorsement (FCE)*, Fracture Control Endorsement for Hydraulic (FCEH)**

Erector Program

Certifications: Certified Erector (CSE)

Endorsements: Seismic Endorsement (SEE), Metal Deck Installation Endorsement (MEE), Bridge Erection Endorsement (BEE)

* Requires concurrent certification to SBR, IBR, ABR, or CPT
** Requires concurrent certification to HYD

Can I apply for just an endorsement?

No; in order to obtain one of the optional endorsements, your fabrication facility or erection company must already hold or be applying for an eligible AISC certification.

English is not our primary language. Do you provide translation services?

We do not provide translation services. All correspondence and required documentation must be in English. During your site audit, Interpreters must be provided by the Participant or Applicants for the auditor’s communication during the audit, as necessary. Interpreters must be knowledgeable of the appropriate industry terminology.

What is the difference between conditional certification and certification?

The difference between “Conditional Certification” and certification is that the physical portion or direct observation of the operations of the shop or field processes have not been assessed, but the quality management system including procedures, manual, and records have been reviewed and assessed.

For more information, please refer to Section 7.1.2 of the GRs.

How long is an AISC certificate valid for?

AISC Certification is typically valid for twelve months, and your certificate is proof of certification. 

Are certificates transferable?

Certificates are non-transferable and can NOT be considered as an asset in the sale of a fabrication facility or erection company that is currently AISC certified.

We no longer wish to be certified. How can we discontinue our certification?

The Participantmay withdraw certification by completing a Certification Withdrawal Request found at aisc.org/withdraw. Participants that withdraw their certification will be required to reapply. 

How can I provide feedback about AISC Certification?

We are always looking to improve upon our program and services offered. In order to evaluate what areas of our program need improvement, please complete our customer service feedback survey here.

My question was not answered by the FAQ section.

If you have any questions that were not answered by the FAQ section, please email your question(s) to certification@aisc.org.

Application Process

How long does it take to become certified?

The standard certification process takes roughly eight to ten months from the time you submit the online application to the time you receive a certificate. You can expedite your application, which moves your application to the top of the list for all reviews. The average expedited time frame is three to four months. Please see the Fee Schedules for the Expedited Application Fee and more information about expediting.

Please note that the process could be longer or shorter depending on the current number of applications in process and the timeliness of the applicant’s responses to requests for documentation.

See the below table for a more detailed breakdown.

Application Stage Time Frame / Details
Initial Intake Up to 2 weeks
Eligibility Review See Section 2.2 of the GRs for details
Stage 1 Audit See Sections 3.1 through 3.3 of the GRs for details
Stage 2 Audit Timing varies depending on audit backlog and auditor availability
Corrective Action Request (CAR) Review (if applicable) See Sections 6.1 through 6.2.1 of the GRs for details
Final review by Certification Review Group (CRG) See Section 7.2 of the GRs for details

What kind of paperwork do I need to submit to become certified?

The Application Document Submittals checklists outline the documents required to be submitted for all applicants.

Does AISC offer consulting services?

AISC does not offer or refer consulting services; however, applicants are welcome to use third-party consultants for guidance during the application process.

AISC and Quality Management Company (QMC), which is the auditing agency for AISC, offer pre-assessments, in which a QMC staff member will assist your management team in understanding the core principles of an effective quality management system. For more information, click here.

Which certification(s) and endorsements should I apply for?

If you are unsure of which certifications and endorsements apply to your company, please see the Program Descriptions page for a more detailed look at each of our certification types.

Where do I submit my application documents?

Please submit your application document submittals electronically via email to application@aisc.org.

Emails must be under 15MB. If needed, please split up and send your files in multiple emails to remain under the 15MB limit.

Fees and Invoicing

What is the cost of certification?

Please see our Fee Schedules.

An applicant can expect to pay the initial application fee, the base fee per the chart at the top of the Fee Schedule, and if applicable, the additional certifications/endorsements fee(s) and the expedited application fee.

For yearly renewals, the total cost would only be the base fee per the chart at the top of the Fee Schedule, and if applicable, the additional certifications/endorsements fee(s); the initial application fee and the expedited application fee are not charged for renewals.

When will I receive my renewal invoice?

Invoices will be emailed to the accounts payable contact, certification contact, and principal officer contact on file for your fabrication facility or erection company roughly 90 days prior to your next scheduled audit week.


How do I reschedule my audit?

Rescheduling requests must be approved by AISC before rescheduling can occur. Absent personnel, vacation conflicts, small company size/limited staff availability, busy production schedules, hunting season, or other similar circumstances are not considered acceptable reasons for rescheduling and will not be approved.

Requests from Participants wishing to reschedule due to absence of specific staff wishing to participate in the audit will not be approved.

Please refer to Section 4.4 of the GRs for additional information.

When will I receive my auditor’s audit plan?

The assigned auditor will be reflected on your renewal invoice, and they will email you their audit plan 30 to 45 days prior to the site audit.

If you do not receive your audit plan within the aforementioned parameters, please do not hesitate to contact us at certification@aisc.org.

I have multiple AISC certificates. Can we have our renewal audits occur at the same time?

We make a concerted effort to conduct audits for a company with multiple certificates in succession. However, since scheduling is based on climate and geographical location, sister companies may or may not be grouped together and audited within the same week.

Why is my audit duration two days?

Please refer to Section 4.7.1 of the GRs for details on audit duration.

Post-Audit Process

The auditor issued us a CAR we do not agree with. Can we dispute it?

If the Participant or Applicant chooses to dispute or “challenge” a CAR, that challenge may be submitted by emailing Quality Management Company (QMC) at cars@qmcauditing.com with the reason(s) for the challenge within 30 days of the conclusion of the audit.

Challenging a CAR does not negate a Participant’s/Applicant’s obligation to resolve all other CARs within the required timeframe.

For more information, please refer to Section 6.3 of the GRs.

Why haven’t I received my certificate?

All audit results have to go through the post-audit review process detailed in Section 7.2 of the GRs. Typically speaking, audits resulting in zero CARs will have the aforementioned review process completed anywhere from 21 to 30 days.

Those audits that do result in CARs issued will have the aforementioned process completed anywhere from 45 to 75 days.

Please note the latter heavily depends on the timeliness of a participant’s response to the initial CAR review and any subsequent CAR reviews thereafter.

Can I dispute a decision by the Certification Review Group (CRG)?

The decision by the Certification Review Group (CRG) may be appealed using the AISC Appeal Policy for Certification Determination (Appeal Policy). Certification fees will not be refunded.

For more information, please refer to Section 9 of the GRs.

Company Profile

What happens if my company changes ownership or relocates?

Changes in ownership, location, and company name may require additional audits or lead to certification termination. These instances are reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

To notify AISC of your changes, please complete a “Request an update to your Company Profile” form at aisc.org/certprofile.