Falsified records: A closer look

On April 13, 2016, the AASHTO Subcommittee on Materials released the newest version of AASHTO R18. There are many significant changes that a laboratory will need to address but the good news is that laboratories will have one year to adopt and adapt to the new version, the AAP will expect all laboratories to be compliant.

Changes to the AASHTO Accreditation Program (AAP)

The change I will address is mentioned in a recent AMRL blog by Brian Johnson, “Falsified Records.” While I don’t believe laboratories intend on falsifying
records, they are forced to complete and have all records available when their on-site inspection rolls around. Not having appropriate records and a completed
quality manual can cause a series of events to ensue that may include: non-conformities by the assessor, having their accreditation suspended or possibly the loss of business for the company – all bad news.

Suspending laboratory accreditations for falsified records is not anything new for AMRL. However, they are making it clear they will be taking more swift and effective action to address the issue. When AMRL determines a laboratory has been falsifying documentation, their default action will be to suspend the laboratory’s accreditation as soon as possible. Furthermore, the laboratory will have to resolve the matter while their accreditation is under suspension.

Resolution to the issue

The resolution to the issue will be more onerous than it has been in the past. In most cases, the AAP will require a surveillance on-site assessment. Two assessors
will typically visit the laboratory to evaluate the laboratory’s resolution to this issue. This will include assessment of the activities that the laboratory falsified and a review of the corrective actions made to rectify the issue. The AAP will require the laboratory to pay for the surveillance assessment, including travel costs for the two assessors.

Preventing falsified records

One of the changes to AASHTO R18 is the Management Review, a complete overview of the laboratories QMS by senior management. This will help keep all laboratory
personnel engaged in the quality process. R18LabQMS is committed to helping laboratories prevent falsified records by providing management tools to organize and keep all records in one place with easy access for all laboratory personnel. With AMRL moving to pre-assessment to the QMS, R18LabQMS is a perfect fit.

Outside services

This time of year can be demanding, leaving little time to review your QMS prior to an on-site inspection. One way to reduce stress in the lab and to ensure your QMS is complete and in order, is to hire a qualified consultant who would serve as another set of eyes to periodically review your QMS.

Upcoming meetings and events


Tuesday, June 28, 2016 – Thursday, June 30, 2016

Chicago Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile; Chicago, IL


AASHTO Subcommittee on Materials

Sunday, July 31, 2016 – Friday, August 5, 2016

Hyatt Regency Greenville, SC

For all questions regarding quality management systems for your laboratory – whether your lab is accredited or not please contact us and learn how R18LabQMS can add value to your company.

– Gary Irvine