AISC Certification Programs
We hope that you, your family, your employees, and your community are not affected by the novel coronavirus and will continue to stay safe in the weeks and months ahead.
If you have a topic suggestion or questions, please contact AISC Certification at firstname.lastname@example.org or 312.670.7520. Thank you and happy reading!
Are you looking for the best summer blockbuster? The 2021 NASCC: The Virtual Steel Conference session recordings, including QualityCon sessions, are now available free of charge. Whether you are revisiting your favorite QualityCon session or catching up on one you missed, this is a great opportunity to learn the latest in the steel industry and marketplace--or to share your favorite insights with the rest of your team.
We’re also hard at work preparing a line-up of practical, thought-provoking sessions for QualityCon 2022! If there’s something you’re particularly interested in learning more about in the 2022 program, please let us know. (Mark your calendars: QualityCon and NASCC: The Steel Conference are set for March 23-25, 2022, in Denver!)
On June 25, we released two new Bulletins for initial applicants providing an update on site assessments. If you didn’t receive them, please review the bulletins below.
We would love to include your company’s URL on our Find a Certified Company search. Then when an Owner, Architect, Engineer or Contractor is looking for a certified company, they will be able to go directly to your website! URLs can be emailed directly to email@example.com.
As we mentioned at our NASCC: The Virtual Steel Conference presentation on April 12, 2021, we are releasing updated Governing Requirements for Certification Programs (GRs). They will become effective on June 1, 2021, for all certified participants and applicants. For more information, please review Bulletin 2021-02 or visit our Governing Requirements page, which lists the updated requirements for each certification and endorsement.
The GRs detail the administration of the certification program from application to certificate determination. They should be your go-to reference for compliance with our program and administrative processes. Our annual update is intended to provide additional clarity as the industry and program evolve.
There's a brand-new Chapter 6 for Hydraulic Structures in the Standard for Certification Program (AISC 207-20) - so, you might be asking yourself, how does that affect me? Bulletin 2021-03 describes the updated Certification Program for Hydraulic Fabricatorsand how existing participants will transition from a requirement-based program to one based on the updated Standard.
AISC 207-20 and the associated hydraulic updates take effect on June 1, 2021.
Also, we’ve created a Hydraulic Navigation Guide to help you out. If you’re a certified Bridge and/or Hydraulic Structures fabricator, this guide will help you identify the gaps between your current certification and the Standard’s two hydraulic certification categories:
- Hydraulic Fabricator
- Hydraulic Fabricator - Advanced (includes fracture critical criteria)
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 conference.
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 on one easy-to-navigate site. 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! (We are, of course, available by email or phone should you have any additional questions.)
Our Certification Resources page has a whole range of handy tools to streamline your quality management system. One of the most popular is our Guide to Normative and Informative References, which was just updated for 2021.
The guide provides the most current references available to the structural steel industry. Whether you’re looking for a normative reference that you MUST have or an informative reference that you SHOULD have, you’ll find what you’re looking for there.
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.
As detailed above, 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.
If you’re wondering what’s changed, why don’t you check out this “highlighted-version” of the Standard. All the changes will jump right off the page for you.
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!
The 207-20 Audit Guides will help you transition between the older documents (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.
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).
Although COVID-19 continues to affect our day-to-day activities, AISC Certification is on track to conduct all our scheduled renewal audits for 2020. Here’s a quick reminder of where we’ve come and where we’re going:
- March 23: AISC suspended all in-person site audits
- May 4: RAs began for participants located in North America
- August 15: Backlog of suspended March and April site audits converted to RAs and completed
- September 1: RAs began for applicants as well as participants located outside North America
- November 30: Backlog of international RAs completed
- December 1: RA auditing schedule will return to "pre-coronavirus" normal
Our goal for RAs is to maintain program credibility by creating a safe experience that rivals an in-person audit. Apart from typical internet connectivity issues and lack of familiarity with the Zoom platform, feedback from participants and auditors has been positive.
RAs will continue for the near future. We will notify you when in-person site audits resume.
This past October, the AISC Board of Directors approved an updated version of the Standard for Certification Programs (AISC 207-20). The updated Standard (AISC 207-20) will be published online in early 2021, and NASCC: The Steel Conference, held April 14-16, 2021, will offer sessions reviewing the new changes.
Until June 1, 2021, AISC’s Certification Program will use the Certification Standard for Steel Fabrication and Erection, and Manufacturing of Metal Components (AISC 207-16).
On June 1, AISC Certification will formally adopt the new Standard, which will immediately take effect for all participants.
AISC Certification continues to transition to paperless documentation. Starting next year, we will no longer accept Certificates of Liability Insurance by mail. Effective January 1, 2021, you must submit your Certificate of Liability Insurance in PDF format to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also, you were previously required to submit an updated agreement every three-years, as noted in SE 1.3 of the Supplemental Requirements for Structural Steel Erectors. Also January 1, AISC must simply have a signed and valid Reciprocal Indemnity Agreement on file.
Please see Bulletin 2020-09 for all the details.
Have you been thinking about pursuing a new certification or endorsement? You can now add an additional scope to your next renewal RA if you have successfully completed an eligibility review and a documentation audit for your scope change application.
Please see Bulletin 2020-06.1 for all the details.
If you have had an audit in the past few months, you may have noticed a change in our audit numbering format. Under the previous system, your audit number included your participant unique identification number (UID) and the audit scope. Now, our system is generating sequential audit numbers that will not contain your UID or audit scope.
Your certificate number (found in the right-hand side of your certificate) will also no longer contain your UID.
A Temporary New Normal for You and Certification
Daily changes due to COVID-19 and CDC Guidance have directly impacted AISC Certification’s ability to carry out in-person site audits.
In response, AISC will begin remote assessments on May 4, 2020, for affected participants in North America and the U.S. Territories. Currently, we are not offering remote assessments to our participants outside of North America.
We have released two bulletins which provide additional information and clarifications about the remote assessment process. Also, be sure to check out the Remote Assessment Site with a list of Frequently Asked Questions to help you transition to this new normal.
As we mentioned at our NASCC: The Virtual Steel Conference presentation on April 23, 2020, we are releasing updated Governing Requirements for Certification Programs. They will become effective on June 1, 2020, for all applicants and certified participants. For more information, please review Bulletin 2020-04.
This is our usual annual update, which is intended to provide additional clarity and consider the evolving needs of the industry. Please visit our Governing Requirements Site which lists the updated requirements for each certification and endorsement.
AISC will begin remote assessments on May 4, 2020, so we created a one-stop-spot for all your remote assessment needs at the Remote Assessment Site. What’s available?
- Current remote assessment bulletins
- Remote Assessment Required Documentation, which must be available electronically to show/share or transmit to the auditor
- Frequently Asked Questions that we have received during this transition from in-person site audits to remote assessments
We have updated Bulletin 2020-02.2 to reflect the most current U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Department of State guidance. AISC Certification has suspended all travel and auditing within the U.S. and its territories until May 1, 2020, effective immediately.
The bulletin also contains information about completed and suspended audits, fee payments, reschedules, and certificate extensions.
We will update Bulletin 2020-02.2 at aisc.org/certification as the situation continues to evolve for the foreseeable future.
We hope that you, your family, employees, and community are not affected by the novel coronavirus.
We have updated Bulletin 2020-01.2 to reflect the most current U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Department of State guidance, and we have extended our travel and auditing suspension until May 1, 2020, effective immediately.
We will update Bulletin 2020-01.2 at aisc.org/certification as the situation continues to evolve for the foreseeable future.
Do you want to have your voice heard? AISC Standard for Certification Programs (AISC 207) is now available for a second public review through April 10, 2020. This document is an update to the current Certification Standard for Steel Fabrication and Erection, and Manufacturing of Metal Components (AISC 207-16), which is being used by the AISC certification programs. The review draft includes requirements for a new hydraulic metal structures chapter along with tracked revisions made during the first review from March 5, 2020.
The standard is currently available for download, along with the comment submission form, on the AISC website at aisc.org/publicreview. All comments must be submitted by April 10, 2020, for consideration.
The American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC) has canceled the 2020 NASCC: The Steel Conference, which had been scheduled for April 22-24 in Atlanta, and incorporated AISC Certification’s inaugural QualityCon.
"Just as the design community and construction industry turns toward AISC for reliable information and advice on steel design and construction, we turn to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for health information and advice on dealing with the coronavirus," said Scott Melnick, AISC's senior vice president and the administrator for the conference, on March 15. "Yesterday, the CDC recommended that all gatherings of 50 or more people are canceled for the next eight weeks and we will certainly follow that advice."
AISC plans to refund all attendees' registration fees. Also, AISC is working on delivering at least some of the conference as an online experience and we hope to have more information available in the coming weeks. "I also invite you to view the nearly 2,000 programs we offer free of charge on our website at aisc.org/learn," Charles J. Carter, SE, PE, PhD, AISC's president, said.
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To access newsletters published prior to 2020, please visit our Newsletter Archive page.