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ASTM E329-20

ASTM E329-20

Standard Specification for Agencies Engaged in Construction Inspection, Testing, or Special Inspection

2020-02-21 /Active

This specification defines the minimum requirements for inspection agency personnel or testing agency laboratory personnel, or both, and the minimum technical requirements for equipment and procedures utilized in the testing and inspection of construction and materials used in construction. Criteria provided herein shall be used for evaluating the capability of the agency to properly perform designated tests on construction materials, as well as establishing essential characteristics pertaining to the organization, personnel, facilities, and quality systems of the agency.

Significance and Use:

4.1 The inspection and testing of construction activities and the materials used in construction are important elements in obtaining quality construction in general compliance with the contract documents. An agency providing construction inspection, testing, or Special Inspection, must be selected with care after a comprehensive evaluation of their competency to perform the services properly and in compliance with the approved project plans and specifications.

4.2 This specification provides minimum criteria for use in assessing the qualifications of construction inspection, testing, and Special Inspection agencies. The criteria may be supplemented by more specific criteria and requirements for particular classes of testing or types of inspection agencies. An individual user can also use it to judge the competency of an agency.

4.3 The intent of this specification is to provide a standardized basis for requirements for a technically oriented construction inspection, testing, or Special Inspection agency, with respect to the agency's capability to objectively and competently provide the specific services without prejudice.

4.4 Typically, assessing an agency involves the following three essential sequential phases:

4.4.1 Submittal of basic information in accordance with the criteria of this specification to the accreditation body by an agency desiring to be accredited to this specification,

4.4.2 Assessment of the agency-submitted information by the accreditation body, and

4.4.3 On-site assessment of the agency by the accreditation body.


1.1 This specification defines the minimum requirements for agencies engaged in any of the following:

(a) Inspection of specified methods and materials used in construction,

(b) Special Inspection, and

(c) Testing of materials used in construction.

1.2 Criteria are provided for assessing the competence of an agency to properly perform designated inspections, tests, or Special Inspection services. This specification establishes essential characteristics pertaining to the organization, management, personnel, facilities, quality systems, responsibilities, duties, inspection and testing methods, records, and reports of the agency. This specification may be supplemented by more specific criteria and requirements, if required.

1.2.1 This specification specifically addresses factors relevant to an agency’s ability to produce precise, accurate test data or determine the conformity of construction activities and materials used in construction with regulations, codes, standards, and approved project plans and specifications containing the requirements against which the inspection or test, or both, will be performed. Specific or general requirements include: Facilities and management of the agency, Sufficiency and technical competency of personnel, Suitability, calibration, and maintenance of equipment, Quality system, audit, and review, Responsibilities, duties, and authority of agencies, Validity and appropriateness of sampling, testing, and inspection methods and procedures, Management of records, Reporting, review, and transmission of test and inspection data or findings, and Specific requirements for identified fields (concrete, soil, etc.).

1.3 This specification can be used as a basis to assess an agency and is intended for use in accrediting agencies, public or private, engaged in inspection, testing, and Special Inspection of construction activities and materials used in construction. These services include but are not limited to reinforced concrete, precast concrete, structural steel erection, welding, bolting, soil and rock, foundations, masonry, sprayed fire-resistive materials, fire stops, exterior insulation and finish system (EIFS), and Special Cases. Building officials can use Specification E329 to assess the competency of agencies in the fields covered by Specification E329.

1.4 A certificate of accreditation, including the scope of accreditation, is required to comply with this specification.

1.5 The users of an accredited agency must review the agency's scope of accreditation to ensure the agency has been accredited for its technical competence to perform the specific inspections or tests requested by the user.

1.6 This specification is not intended to:

(a) circumvent or replace the agreement between the agency and the owner that should clearly define the responsibilities and authorities of the agency;

(b) address design requirements that supersede applicable codes, laws, and regulations; or

(c) address construction means, methods, techniques, or sequences.

1.7 This international standard was developed in accordance with internationally recognized principles on standardization established in the Decision on Principles for the Development of International Standards, Guides and Recommendations issued by the World Trade Organization Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Committee.

accreditations; competencies; construction materials; evaluating; inspection agencies; personnel qualifications; Special Inspections; testing agencies; verifications ;
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