2023 year-end wrap up, ASTM and more

2023 year-end wrap up, ASTM and more

In the latter part of 2023, we formed an R18LabQMS Collaboration Team (CT) to assist in the process of finalizing a proposal for the next upgrade to the application scheduled to be launched in Q2 2024.

The CT is made up of long-time power users who have contributed significantly to the process, and who will be a part of the beta testing phase before the launch in Q2 2024. Stay tuned for updates and, as always, we are listening to all users for their input.

ASTM International

Most recently, we attended ASTM International Committee Week in Washington DC and wanted to give a high-level overview of its purpose and process for people new to the industry.

The American Society for Testing and Materials, known as ASTM International, publishes production and testing standards for various industries. These standards cover multiple materials and systems with a goal of standardization.

How many ASTM standards are there?

Today, over 12,000 ASTM standards are used around the world to improve product quality, promote a standardization process, strengthen market access and trade and build consumer confidence.

Can anyone join ASTM International and contribute to the standards?

Anyone, anywhere in the world with an interest in consumer safety and performance standards is eligible and welcome to join ASTM.

The process

ASTM carries out its standards development work through technical committees made up of over 32,000 volunteers from industry, manufacturers, consumers, as well as other interest groups such as government and academia. Any interested individual can participate on a technical committee through ASTM membership.

 ASTM standards

Once approved, ASTM standards are reviewed at least every five years and removed from publication if not revised or reapproved after eight years. Working with other technical committee members, consumer representatives propose and comment on the wording of a draft standard.

How to understand committee structure

The Main Committee is responsible for developing standards in each subject area.

Subcommittees are formed as needed to address specific subjects or areas within the scope of the main committee. These areas include technical as well as administrative and strategic planning functions.

Task groups are small working groups responsible for a specific assignment in the development of a draft standard or implementation of an interlaboratory study within a given time period. Task group members are not required to be ASTM members. 

 What are the six types of ASTM standards?

There are generally six (6) types of features that you will see with an ASTM document:    

– Test Method

– Specification 

– Classification

– Practice

– Guide

– Terminology

 More resources


 ASTM Compass 

The best place to access both ASTM and AASHTO Standards is to set up an account with 

Get involved, meetings, symposia and workshops

Stay up to date with ASTM Standards Tracker®  

Track all the standards you need most or track standards by committee or industry for free. You’ll get email alerts for new or changed standards from our extensive library to help you meet new requirements and stay up to date.

User question

Q: My supervisor is unable to place his ‘signature’ on documents, where do I find this option?

A: Great question! On equipment procedures and other various documents, you will find a required Signature* field (required field when in red with an *). You will need to populate this field in order to ‘Save and Complete’, and will have 2 options, 1) just type in the person’s name that’s completing the procedure, or 2) if you have ‘added a signature’ within the profile (top right on header), just click the small box under the Signature* line and the signature will appear.  


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

Training – onboarding process

Getting started happens within the setup process, it’s intuitive and follows the sections that require procedures within the management and technical sections. Each section number within the setup process corresponds to AASHTO R18. You can either enter your Procedure Itself for each section or upload a file with the details of the procedure. I always tell labs during a demo that it’s much like a ‘Turbo Tax’ experience as it walks you through each step.

Once you have completed the setup process, or wish to move on to the dashboard view, just click save progress and exit setup in the upper right-hand corner. It’s straightforward and intuitive.

Upon exiting the setup process, there will be a dialog box that pops up asking you if you would like to add additional ASTM Quality Standards, and their sub standards, i.e., D3666 (aggregate). 

Additional training needed to jump-start the onboarding process: 

Virtual training

We target a specific area for training and limit the time to one hour. An example would be adding Equipment Procedures to your Equipment. There is no charge for virtual training limited to 1 hour.

Onsite training

We spend one day in your laboratory to review all aspects of your Quality Manual and take a deep dive into R18labQMS implementation. This training is fee-based, please inquire. 

 Upcoming meetings and sponsorship we will soon be attending:

2024 AASHTO re:source Technical Exchange

March 18-21, 2024 in Boston, MA

The 2024 AASHTO re:source Technical Exchange will exceed your expectations. To experience this one-of-a-kind event, join us March 18-21, 2024, in Boston, MA.

Exchange information, expand your professional network, and explore construction materials testing topics in sessions led by industry experts. This exceptional event allows you to engage with peers in workshops, roundtables and panel discussions. An ideal event for laboratory managers, quality managers, supervisors, technicians and engineers.

 More Notables

  • AASHTO re:source Q&A Podcast with Brian Johnson & Kimberly Swanson

S2 E18: Moving to a Digital Quality Management System

Gary Irvine, from the Asphalt Institute, joins us to discuss the benefits of moving from a paper QMS to a digital system.

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 laboratory.

One last favor to ask, if there is a specific topic of discussion you would like to see in upcoming blogs, please send us a note!

Follow all future R18LabQMS blog posts, click here!  

Gary Irvine
R18LabQMS Program Manager