Title 23

SECTION 637.207

637.207 Quality assurance program.

§ 637.207 Quality assurance program.

(a) Each STD's quality assurance program shall provide for an acceptance program and an independent assurance (IA) program consisting of the following:

(1) Acceptance program.

(i) Each STD's acceptance program shall consist of the following:

(A) Frequency guide schedules for verification sampling and testing which will give general guidance to personnel responsible for the program and allow adaptation to specific project conditions and needs.

(B) Identification of the specific location in the construction or production operation at which verification sampling and testing is to be accomplished.

(C) Identification of the specific attributes to be inspected which reflect the quality of the finished product.

(ii) Quality control sampling and testing results may be used as part of the acceptance decision provided that:

(A) The sampling and testing has been performed by qualified laboratories and qualified sampling and testing personnel.

(B) The quality of the material has been validated by the verification sampling and testing. The verification testing shall be performed on samples that are taken independently of the quality control samples.

(C) The quality control sampling and testing is evaluated by an IA program.

(iii) If the results from the quality control sampling and testing are used in the acceptance program, the STD shall establish a dispute resolution system. The dispute resolution system shall address the resolution of discrepancies occurring between the verification sampling and testing and the quality control sampling and testing. The dispute resolution system may be administered entirely within the STD.

(iv) In the case of a design-build project on the National Highway System, warranties may be used where appropriate. See 23 CFR 635.413(e) for specific requirements.

(2) The IA program shall evaluate the qualified sampling and testing personnel and the testing equipment. The program shall cover sampling procedures, testing procedures, and testing equipment. Each IA program shall include a schedule of frequency for IA evaluation. The schedule may be established based on either a project basis or a system basis. The frequency can be based on either a unit of production or on a unit of time.

(i) The testing equipment shall be evaluated by using one or more of the following: Calibration checks, split samples, or proficiency samples.

(ii) Testing personnel shall be evaluated by observations and split samples or proficiency samples.

(iii) A prompt comparison and documentation shall be made of test results obtained by the tester being evaluated and the IA tester. The STD shall develop guidelines including tolerance limits for the comparison of test results.

(iv) If the STD uses the system approach to the IA program, the STD shall provide an annual report to the FHWA summarizing the results of the IA program.

(3) The preparation of a materials certification, conforming in substance to appendix A of this subpart, shall be submitted to the FHWA Division Administrator for each construction project which is subject to FHWA construction oversight activities.

(b) In the case of a design-build project funded under title 23, U.S. Code, the STD's quality assurance program should consider the specific contractual needs of the design-build project. All provisions of paragraph (a) of this section are applicable to design-build projects. In addition, the quality assurance program may include the following:

(1) Reliance on a combination of contractual provisions and acceptance methods;

(2) Reliance on quality control sampling and testing as part of the acceptance decision, provided that adequate verification of the design-builder's quality control sampling and testing is performed to ensure that the design-builder is providing the quality of materials and construction required by the contract documents.

(3) Contractual provisions which require the operation of the completed facility for a specific time period.

[60 FR 33717, June 29, 1995, as amended at 67 FR 75934, Dec. 10, 2002]