UPDATE on CCIL Implementation of CSA Standards A283:19 and A23.2/23.2:19

In January 2020 CCIL implemented several changes to CCIL’s Concrete Certification program based on the changes in both CSA Standards A23.2:19 and A283:19 published in July 2019. Changes include the restructuring of the Certification Categories from 0, 1 and 2 to Q, R and S, and the introduction of the supervising professional. The supervising professional replaces the previous supervising engineer and has increased roles and responsibilities in the CSA Standard A283:19. Details of CCIL’s implementation and information on the new program are included below. CCIL has updated and developed new concrete forms, documents and checklists based on the updated standards, these are also available below under Reference and Working Documents.


The CCIL certification of Concrete laboratories is a national program which certifies laboratories in accordance with CSA Standard A283:19, the current qualification code for concrete testing laboratories, as well as additional criteria as may be established by CCIL.

CSA A283:19 defines several mandatory components, including:

  1. The laboratory shall have the equipment and trained staff capable of performing the test procedures for the category under which the laboratory is certified.
  2. The equipment shall be maintained and calibrated to comply with the appropriate requirements of CSA A23.2 and CSA A283.
  3. Each certified laboratory must employ at least one technician with a valid CCIL certification, who has passed the written and practical exams for both laboratory technician and field technician to match the level of laboratory certification including any additional tests.  This does not have to be achieved by only one technician, but for each test on the laboratories certificate at least one technician must have the appropriate certification. Field and Laboratory testing shall only be carried out by certified technicians.
  4. The laboratory shall maintain records of test results, within-laboratory proficiency, calibration and verification of equipment, qualifications of staff, and identified deficiencies and corresponding corrective measures.
  5. The laboratory must be under the supervision of a supervising professional licensed to practice engineering in the jurisdiction in which the laboratory is located and who has a minimum of two years of working experience related to a concrete testing laboratory and is a full-time employee of the laboratory.
  6. The laboratory shall execute a formal undertaking in writing to abide by the test methods and procedures in the applicable standards.
  7. The laboratory shall demonstrate continued compliance by undergoing an annual audit by CCIL to maintain its certification.

In addition, all new Concrete laboratories applying for certification must participate in an inter-lab correlation test to demonstrate their proficiency and ability to produce reliable test results on compression samples.

There are three categories of Concrete laboratory certification:

  • Basic Concrete (Type Q) certification. This category includes the most common field procedures for sampling and testing plastic concrete, and measuring the compressive strength of concrete.
  • Concrete Aggregate (Type R) certification.  This category includes laboratory and field procedures for sampling and testing concrete aggregates.
  • Advanced Concrete (Type S) certification.  This category includes more specialized tests on concrete and laboratories must hold valid Type Q and Type R certification to qualify for Advanced Concrete (Type S) certification.

There are additional tests that can be added to the three categories which are defined in CSA A283:19. In general, additional tests are specialized tests preformed on aggregates, concrete, groundwater, and grout.

Concrete technicians employed by certified laboratories must demonstrate their proficiency in carrying out the test procedures for which the laboratory is certified, through practical tests and written examinations. Only technicians working for CCIL certified laboratories of the same or greater certification can hold valid CCIL technician certification. Technicians passing the written and practical Field Technician Examinations are issued a CCIL Certified Concrete Field Testing Technician card, valid for a period of 5 years. Technicians passing the written and practical Laboratory Technician Examinations are certified for a period of 5 years but are not issued a card. The laboratory is provided with a Results of Testing for Concrete Testing Personnel Letter as a record of technicians passing the written and practical Field and Laboratory examinations.

Program Details and Tests

The test methods included in the CCIL certification program for Concrete laboratories are those listed in CSA A283:19. The following test methods are included in each category:

  • Basic Concrete (Type Q) Certification: CSA A23.2-1C, 3C (compression specimens only), 4C, 5C, 9C, and 17C;
  • Concrete Aggregate (Type R) Certification: CSA A23.2-1A, 2A, 3A, 4A, 5A, 6A, 7A, 10A, 12A, 13A;
  • Advanced Concrete (Type S) Certification: CSA A23.2-8A, 2C, 6C, and 11C. (Basic Concrete (Type Q) and Concrete Aggregate (Type R) certification are both required to obtain Advanced Concrete Type S Certification).
  • Additional Tests:
    • Laboratories certified as Basic Concrete (Type Q) certification may also be certified for any of the following additional tests: CSA A23.2-8A, 1B, 6B (Procedure A), 3C (flexural test specimens), 7C, 8C, 11C, 14C, 15C, 16C, 19C, 20C or
    • Laboratories certified as Concrete Aggregate (Type R) Certification may be certified for any of the following additional tests: CSA A23.2-9A, 11A, 16A, 17A, 23A, 24A, 25A, 26A, 29A, 2B, 3B, 4B, or 8B.
    • Laboratories certified as Advanced Concrete (Type S) Certification may also be certified for any of the following additional tests: CSA A23.2-14A, 6B (Procedure B), 10C, 12C (incl 18C), 13C, 18C, 21C, 22C, 23C, 26C, ASTM C457, or C666.

Test Methods CSA A23.2-15A, 27A, 28A, 30A, 7B, 24C, 25C and 1D are not included in the program.

Reference and Working Documents

The following documents provide info and the terms of references for the certification program:

Laboratories must purchase copies of:

  1. CSA Standard A283:19 “Qualification code for concrete testing laboratories”
  2. CSA Standard A23.1:19 “Concrete materials and methods of concrete construction and CSA Standard A23.2:19 “Test methods and standard practices for concrete”
  3. All ASTM Standards for which the laboratory is certified.

Technician Training

CCIL does not provide any technician training. In accordance with Clauses b) and e) it is the responsibility of the laboratories to train and maintain competent testing personnel and ensure that all concrete tests are done by certified technicians. Alternative ways of preparing technicians for the written and practical examinations, and details of the examinations, are given in the above document CCIL Concrete Testing Technician Certification Program Description.

Information for New Applicants (How to Become Certified)

There are a number of documents given above, under Reference and Working Documents that describe the certification process for a concrete testing laboratory and provide other information relevant to the process.  The document “CCIL Concrete Testing Laboratory Certification Program Description” describes the procedure for the certification and annual audit of concrete laboratories.  A more informal description, as well as details of the concrete cylinder strength correlation test, is contained in the document “Information for New Concrete Laboratory Applicants”.  Information concerning technicians, and the written and practical examinations for laboratory and field technicians, is given in the document “Training and Certification of Concrete Technicians”.

The certification process begins when the applicant laboratory completes an application through the CCIL Concrete Portal (https://portal.ccil.com). The laboratory’s supervising professional or the laboratory’s main contact may create a login and fill out the Application for Services. However only the supervising professional will be authorized to submit it to CCIL. Upon receipt of the application form, the laboratory will be contacted by CCIL to review the application and answer any questions relating to the certification process. Information on fees is available from the CCIL Certification Office (gkermath@ccil.com).