After the remote assessment and managing your quality manual

After the remote assessment and managing your quality manual

Now that you have completed your remote assessment with AASHTO re:source and received your final report, you now have 60 days to respond and resolve any nonconformities that the assessors observed during the assessment.

Resolving non-conformities

Resolving nonconformities is done through the AASHTO re:source website. First, login and go to my lab, then on the top left click accreditation events. This is an easy process.

How to resolve AASHTO re:source and CCRL report findings

Root cause analysis

Understanding and resolving nonconformities is an important part of the process in maintaining records within your quality manual, with the root cause analysis being an integral part of that process. 

Get to the root of the problem: Root Cause Analysis (RCA) explained

Repeating nonconformities

More than two consecutive nonconformities during an onsite/remote assessment can put your accreditation in jeopardy. The best way to circumvent repeat nonconformities is to review past onsite final reports and take necessary action.


So what should we take away from the onsite/remote assessment process? Think of it as ‘guardrails’ for maintaining your quality manual. If you receive a nonconformity it’s like hitting the guardrail, as to say, ‘stay on track, stay focused!’ If you miss technician training records for example, it should alert you to review the requirements within the standard and to fine-tune the process. 

What next?

Once the remote assessment process has been completed, conduct an internal review of the needed changes to be implemented for going forward. Fine-tune all processes, delegate responsibilities and have periodic reviews to ensure overall quality within the lab is achieved.

Maintaining accreditation involves numerous activities. Your quality manual is the hub of all documentation and management of those activities. Ongoing activities include but are not limited to the following:

  • Non-frequency related procedures, review and update as needed
  • Technician training and evaluation records
  • Equipment calibration, standardization, checks and maintenance procedures records
  • Review test standards annually for changes that may affect equipment procedures, AASHTO, ASTM, update
  • Internal audit report, management review records
  • Proficiency sample participation, records


Being the hub of all accreditation activities and documentation that follows the guidelines of AASHTO R18, the R18LabQMS team takes great care to maintain changes that are made annually, such as section numbers, requirements, etc. What R18LabQMS does not do is create content or equipment procedure forms (cal/check/standard/maintenance). However, forms can easily be created using the Form Creator within the application. It’s an easy and intuitive process. 

User question

Q: If we have an existing QMS manual which has been approved by AASHTO for years, how long would you expect the initial setup to take?

A: Here’s a blog entry that I recently wrote about this very question: The onboarding process – revisited  I’m often asked, “how long will it take to complete my quality management system using R18LabQMS?” The short answer is… (read more).  The application is intuitive and designed around AASHTO R18 if you have existing procedures (sections 5 & 6) and have a plan in place for implementation the process will go quickly, and it sounds like you will.

Resources and training opportunities

Once you work through the setup process, the following links can be found in the lower right-hand corner of the application;

  • Support
  • R18 Blog
  • Virtual training (1 hour or less, no fees), contact us for an appointment
  • Extensive virtual training – Fee-based, please inquire.

Upcoming meetings

No further meetings scheduled for 2020, hopefully, we can reset in 2021!

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

– Gary Irvine
R18LabQMS Program Manager