Katheryn L. Malusky
Papers # 2010 Vancouver
The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) offers a technical service to highway transportation departments and several types of industries, known as the National Transportation Product Evaluation Program (NTPEP). This Program allows member departments to efficiently perform laboratory and field testing on products used in the transportation system. Each state is able to receive unbiased data via test methods and field evaluations adopted from national standards or developed by AASHTO members. Years ago, HDPE thermoplastic pipe manufacturers and AASHTO member departments agreed to develop a uniform audit program. This program, known as the NTPEP Audit Program, allows for all manufacturers to be held to similar requirements, which are listed in the program’s work plan. It also allows manufacturers to participate in fewer audits, thus reducing cost for AASHTO member departments and manufacturers. The audit process consists of three parts : (1) review of Quality Management System, (2) an annual quality control audit, and (3) review of split sample results. The results of each audit are then uploaded onto the NTPEP Audit Program website and are able to be accessed by both the manufacturer and AASHTO member departments. Manufacturers benefit by : (1) improving their quality assurance program, (2) use the program as a marketing tool, and (3) educate their personnel. Some AASHTO member departments use this program as an acceptance process for product purchasing, while other member departments use it to develop the Qualified Producer List.