Accreditation


Quality Assurance

 

Perhaps one of the most pro-active endeavors of the Metal Building Manufacturers Association (MBMA) has been the establishment of a quality assurance program for its members.  MBMA’s Board of Directors has, over the years, repeatedly reaffirmed its commitment to a comprehensive quality assurance program that adds value for the end customer and differentiates the metal building systems industry from other forms of construction.

Since the early 1990’s, MBMA has worked to assure the quality and efficiency of metal building systems manufacturers by endorsing  independent accreditation/certification programs. The original program was put in place with the American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC). The AISC- MB Certification Program officially ended December 31, 2009.  A new accreditation program, IAS AC472, is now being implemented by the International Accreditation Services (IAS).

Details of the new program are spelled out below.

 

IAS Accreditation Program

MBMA began working with the International Accreditation Services (IAS), which is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the International Code Council (ICC), to develop a third-party accreditation program specifically for metal building systems manufacturers.  On April 8, 2008, the IAS Accreditation Committee approved the new Inspection Programs for Manufacturers of Metal Building Systems (AC472). This comprehensive, third-party accreditation program for the inspection of metal building manufacturers is based on the requirements of Chapter 17 of the International Building Code® and provides code officials with a means to approve the inspection programs of manufacturers involved in the fabrication of metal building systems. MBMA strongly endorses AC472 and will require its implementation for all members by the end of 2010. Learn more at the IAS website by clicking here.

Transition Period

MBMA member companies are now in a transition period where they are completing requirements under the AISC certification program and beginning to develop their compliance under the new IAS accreditation program. This transition can be very complex and time consuming.  MBMA member companies are fully dedicated to achieving AC472 accreditation and the MBMA board has made it a requirement for membership in the association by December 31, 2010.  To learn more, we have provided the following information:

  1. IAS announcement of the new AC 472 accreditation program for metal building systems manufacturers.
  2. IAS brochure describing the program. Click here to download this flyer.
  3. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
  4. Building accreditation – process, elements and criteria

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IAS Announcement

 

New IAS Accreditation Program Helps Code Officials

Approve Metal Building Systems Fabricators

 

The International Accreditation Service, Inc. (IAS) Accreditation Committee approved a new accreditation criteria for Inspection Programs for Manufacturers of Metal Building Systems, AC472. The criteria is strongly endorsed by the Metal Building Manufacturers Association (MBMA). This comprehensive accreditation program for the inspection of metal buildings is based on the requirements of Chapter 17 of the International Building Code® and provides code officials with a means to approve the inspection programs of manufacturers involved in the fabrication of metal building systems.

 

Wide spread support for the IAS program has been building since October 2007, when the MBMA approached IAS on behalf of the metal building industry to consider developing a criteria that would serve MBMA members while fulfilling the needs of code officials and other regulatory agencies. During recent public hearing, MBMA representatives W. Lee Shoemaker, P.E., PhD, Director of Research and Engineering and Charles E. Praeger, Assistant General Manager, testified on behalf of the Board of Directors of the MBMA, praising the work of IAS staff that collaborated with the industry over the last six months to develop AC472.

 

Praeger adds, “IAS AC472 covers three parts and the first Part (A) is modeled after AC172. Part (B) is cold form steel fabrication while Part (C) is engineering. The program focuses on the need for a comprehensive quality management system based on international standards. Quality has been a hallmark of our organization since its inception and we believe that IAS accreditation will further raise the bar.”

 

AC472 addresses quality management system elements such as personnel requirements, product traceability, process control and various administrative and technical requirements that are essential for code officials to deem IAS-accredited entities as approved fabricators. “The MBMA is to be commended for initiating the development of the program that establishes high standards for the metal building industry,” says Sandi McCracken, Senior Accreditation Officer with IAS.

 

About IAS

ICC International Accreditation Service (IAS) accredits testing and calibration laboratories, inspection agencies, building departments, fabricator inspection programs and IBC special inspection agencies. A recognized accreditation body since 1975, IAS is a nonprofit, public benefit corporation. IAS is one of the leading accreditation bodies in the United States and a signatory to several international mutual recognition arrangements (MRAs).

 

To see this press release as a PDF, please click here.

 

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IAS Brochure on Accreditation

Click on title for PDF of this brochure

 

Frequently Asked Questions about Accreditation

       

Why Use a Quality Accredited Company?

I am a Building Official who works with metal buildings. How will accreditation help me do my job better, and what should I know about accredited companies?

I am a National Account Firm planning to build. So why should I require an accredited company for my project?

I am a Specifier working on behalf of my customer who is planning to building. Why should I require an accredited company for my project?

I am a Building Owner who is looking at different companies for my new building or expansion. Why should I require an accredited company for my next project?

I am a Contractor who works with metal buildings. Why should I work with an accredited company and what should I know?

Why Use a Quality Accredited Company?

There are a number of answers to this question:  

  • You get a company that is committed enough to quality to subject themselves to an outside review;
  • You get a company that has been reviewed by the International Accreditation Services and an independent third party Accredited Inspection Agency who has been in literally hundreds of structural steel fabrication plants;
  • And you get a company that you can feel confident about that is familiar with quality systems and has dedicated the resources to provide quality work.

An AC472 accredited company has been placed through a rigorous examination to confirm that it has the personnel, organization, experience, procedures, knowledge, equipment, capability and commitment to produce work of the required quality. Accredited companies will have quality systems in place with defined positions and responsibilities.

Both the internal and external reviews help companies improve production practices and product quality at a facility. In addition to IAS personnel, the AC472 Accreditation Program uses third party Accredited Inspection Agency that have  people experienced in engineering, fabrication, welding and auditing which brings a hands-on approach to the accreditation procedure. By reviewing records, evaluating engineering procedures , interviewing personnel and observing welding practices and equipment in the shop, IAS and its Accredited Inspection Agency  confirm that a quality assurance program is in place that meets AC472 Criteria. After a company is AC472 Accredited,  two annual review processes each year ensure confirmation of an ongoing commitment to quality systems. These semi-annual reviews also offer companies the opportunity for improvement and help communicate the latest quality issues..

I am a Building Official who works with metal buildings. How will accreditation help me do my job better, and what should I know about accredited companies?

AC472 Accreditation Program: Information for Building Officials

 

I am a National Account Firm planning to build. So why should I require an accredited company for my project?

AC472 Accreditation Program: Information for National Account Firms

 

I am a Specifier working on behalf of my customer who is planning to building. Why should I require an accredited company for my project?

AC472 Accreditation Program: Information for Specifiers

 

I am a Building Owner who is looking at different companies for my new building or expansion. Why should I require an accredited company for my next project?

AC472 Accreditation Program: Information for Building Owners

 

I am a Contractor who works with metal buildings. Why should I work with an accredited company and what di I need to know?

AC472 Accreditation Program: Information for Contractors

 

The Certification/Accreditation Process

The Process

The IAS 472 Accreditation Program Criteria examines policies and procedures at each of the manufacturer’s fabrication and engineering facilities. The AC472 Criteria has three parts:

 

·         Part A covers fabrication of structural weldments and cold-formed products requiring welding

·         Part B covers fabrication of cold-formed products not requiring welding

·         Part C deals with the design of metal buildings.

 

The inspection program outlined in AC472 addresses quality management system elements such as personnel requirements, product traceability, process control, and various administrative and technical requirements. The criteria, in fact, covers all system elements that are essential if code officials, building owners, specifiers and contractors  are to have full confidence in, and approve, IAS-accredited fabricators of metal buildings. Of particular significance to building owners, specifiers and code officials is the fact that AC472 meets the requirements of  Chapter 17 of the International Building Code.  In addition accredited firms must have AWS Certified Welding Inspector (CWI) in accordance with the provisions of AWS QC1, Standard Guide for Qualification and Certification of Welding Inspectors; or current qualification by the appropriate Canadian Welding Bureau (CWB) to the requirements of the Canadian Standards Association Standard W178.2, Certification of Welding Inspectors.

 

As a result of all these measures, architects, design professionals, building code officials and the insurance industry can be assured that certified metal building systems manufacturers are capable of meeting the industry s highest standards for product and design integrity

 

Critical Criteria for Certification

Seven  of the most critical criteria for achieving AC472 Accreditation include:

1.       The management team must fully communicate its commitment to achieving ongoing quality certification in accordance with all program requirements.

2.       All submittal documentation must be in place including job descriptions, policies and procedures.

3.       Finished products in the plant must conform to design and quality parameters.

4.       All engineering procedures and practices must demonstrate compliance with the International Building Code® and meet the requirements of Chapter 17.  

5.       Raw materials in the plant must match engineering specifications.

6.       Welding personnel and/or procedures must be properly documented, qualified and/or certified, and plant-welding practices must conform to American Welding Society (AWS) procedures and workmanship requirements.

7.        A quality control/quality assurance procedure must be articulated and practiced.

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