Los Angeles Basin ICC Chapter Recognizes IAS Fabricator Accreditation Program
The Los Angeles Basin Chapter of the International Code Council® (ICC®) has made the recommendation to its 90+ building department members to accept the International Accreditation Service (IAS) accreditation program to approve fabricators that work in their jurisdictions. The accreditation program is based on the International Building Code® (IBC®) Chapter 17 requirements for fabricators of structural steel, reinforced and precast/prestressed concrete, wood wall panels and metal building systems.
“Both the building departments and the fabricators benefit from the IAS program because it provides standardized assessments and evidence that fabricators are meeting requirements in the IBC. We are extremely pleased with the chapter’s decision to officially support the IAS fabricator accreditation program,” said IAS President Chuck Ramani.
“It makes sense from a technical and economical standpoint for building departments to use the IAS program to provide evidence that can be used to approve fabricators,” said Neville Pereira, President of the Los Angeles Basin Chapter of ICC. There is no cost for building departments to use the IAS program to verify fabricators meet requirements in the IBC. “The chapter is recognizing a program that has been in place since 1958 when it first began under ICBO.”
The chapter made the decision to approve the IAS fabricator accreditation program following a review by their Inspection Committee and a presentation to the chapter membership. “I was extremely impressed with the thoroughness of the criteria that IAS uses to assess fabricators,” said Ayla Erfigen Chair, ICC Los Angeles Basin Chapter Inspection Committee. The IAS accreditation is based on IAS accreditation program criteria and the IBC Section 1704.2.2 requirements which state that “Approval shall be based on the review of the fabricator’s written procedural and quality control manuals and periodic auditing of the fabricator practices by an approved special inspection agency . . .”
The IAS accreditation process begins with an assessment of the fabricator’s quality manual and is followed by an on-site assessment of the shop. During the on-site assessment, IAS assesses the facility, manufacturing equipment, incoming raw materials, fabrication processes and the items fabricated. The fabricator is required to follow written procedures for welding, bolting, nondestructive testing, contract review, document control, purchasing, product traceability, process control, inspection and testing, nonconforming work, corrective actions, handling, storage and delivery of materials, internal audits, control of quality records, and training. Fabricators are also required to have an in-house quality manager, quality control inspector (certified by AWS, CWB or ICC) and certified welders. All welding personnel must use their own identifying number, letter or symbol for traceability, and 100 percent of the weldments must be visually inspected. IAS issues a certificate of accreditation once a fabricator has met the program criteria. Accredited fabricators are subject to two unannounced audits annually to verify they continue to comply with accreditation requirements.
Oversight for the IAS fabricator accreditation program is provided by code officials that make up the majority of the IAS board of directors and accreditation committee. There is an opportunity to review and update the program criteria on an annual basis during an open public hearing at the IAS Accreditation Committee meeting.
Accreditation is formal, independent verification that a program, institution or company meets established quality standards and is competent to carry out specific conformity assessment tasks. Accreditation has been used for over 50 years as the definitive means of evaluating organizations and is now utilized by all the world’s major economies and many developing economies. In addition to building departments, governmental regulatory agencies such as the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Federal Highway Administration require accreditation to verify the technical competence of organizations.
IAS is a recognized accreditation body and a nonprofit, public benefit corporation. IAS accredits testing and calibration laboratories, product certification agencies, special inspection agencies, inspection programs for metal building manufacturers, fabricator inspection programs, inspection agencies, training agencies, curriculum developers, field evaluation bodies, building departments, fire prevention departments and building department service providers. A subsidiary of the International Code Council (ICC), IAS is one of the leading accreditation bodies in the United States and a signatory to several international mutual recognition arrangements (MRAs).
For more information about IAS, visit www.iasonline.org or call 866-427-4422.