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Personnel Certification Program Benefits

Owners, architects, engineers, and contractors all benefit from working with precast concrete plants and erectors that employ PCI-certified quality-control personnel and auditors. These professionals can effectively and efficiently develop and implement a quality-control program, and help improve the quality component of the precaster in many other ways. Their input can help companies cut costs even as they produce better and more efficient precast concrete components and building systems.

Demand for qualified personnel continues to grow. Plant quality personnel certification is required by over one third of state departments of transportation. These agencies require PCI certification not only for plant personnel, but also for their own materials inspectors and quality assurance personnel.

Achieving plant quality personnel certification status is a demanding task, but those who rise to the challenge improve their proficiency and provide better service to the precast concrete structures industry. PCI certification is a reliable means of ensuring that the precaster working on your project meets the highest possible industry standards.

Personnel Certification Program Overview

The Plant Quality Personnel Certification Program, started in 1985, provides instruction and evaluation for three levels of trained, knowledgeable, and certified quality-control personnel. PCI also trains Certified Field Auditors (CFAs) and Certified Company Auditors (CCAs), who perform the audits to certify the precast concrete erector. This process extends personnel certification into the field. PCI offers personnel certification programs for the following areas:

  • Plant quality control technicians
  • Field quality control technicians
  • Glass fiber reinforced concrete technicians

More information about the certification process from application to initial certification and throughout the recertification/renewal periods can be found in the Proctored Exam and Personnel Certification Program Information Packet.

PCI personnel certifications can be attained by one of two available paths. The examinee can either attend a PCI quality control training course or undergo a proctored examination.

PCI Quality Control Training Courses

PCI offers training programs for the personnel certification programs. For more information about registration and course agendas, please see the information about training through PCI's Quality Control Schools on the PCI website.

PCI Proctored Exam Program

The PCI Proctored Exam Program is a self-study program that allows examinees to study at their own pace before scheduling their certification exam.

To request a proctored exam, please complete the forms included in the Proctored Exam Request Packet.

Please see the Proctored Exam and Personnel Certification Program Information Packet for detailed instructions on how to request a proctored exam, including exam day instructions and more information on the certification process from application to initial certification and throughout the recertification/renewal periods.

Plant Quality Control Technicians

Plant quality control manuals MNL-116 and MNL-117 require that plants have at least one PCI Level II-certified technician in the plant during production if the plant produces products with prestressed reinforcement. Plants that produce architectural concrete only, or any other concrete that does not contain prestressed reinforcement, must have a PCI Level I-certified technician in the plant during production.

Level 1

Candidates for Level I certification must meet the following requirements to obtain Level I certification:

  • Hold a valid ACI Field Testing Technician – Grade I certification
  • Meet one of the following experience requirements:
    • Six months experience in a precast concrete plant
    • One year experience in a related field
    • BSCE degree or related field
    • Associate degree in concrete technology
  • Submit a signed and endorsed Level I certification application
  • Pass a PCI Level I certification examination

Training Manual 101 (TM-101) is the study text used for Level I certification.

Level I recertification requires meeting all of the above requirements again five years after the last examination date. Recertification with examination is required every five years until the individual has taken three exams over a 10-year period. To apply for Level I recertification, please complete the Proctored Exam Request Packet.

Individuals who have passed three (3) Level I exams over a 10-year period and have been continuously certified at Level I for 15 years no longer have to meet the examination requirement. Further prerequisites and qualifications are necessary to meet the renewal requirements; these are explained in the renewal application.

Individuals who meet this requirement should complete the Level I renewal application. Please note, a current ACI Field Testing Technician – Grade I certification is required to meet the renewal requirements.

Level 2

Candidates for Level II certification must meet the following requirements to obtain Level II certification:

  • Hold an active PCI Level I certification
  • Hold a valid ACI Field Testing Technician – Grade I certification
  • Meet one of the following experience requirements:
    • Twelve months experience in a precast concrete plant
    • 1.5 years’ experience in a related field
    • BSCE degree or related field
    • Associate degree in concrete technology
  • Submit a signed and endorsed Level II certification application
  • Pass a PCI Level II certification examination

Training Manual 101 (TM-101) is the study text used for Level II certification.

Level II recertification requires meeting all of the above requirements again five years after the most recent examination date. Recertification with examination is required every five years until the individual has taken three exams over a 10-year period. To apply for Level II recertification, please complete the Proctored Exam Request Packet.

Individuals who have passed three (3) Level II exams over a 10-year period and have been continuously certified at Level II for 15 years no longer have to meet the examination requirement. Further prerequisites and qualifications are necessary to meet the renewal requirements; these are explained in the renewal application.

Individuals who meet this requirement should complete the Level II renewal application. Please note, a current ACI Field Testing Technician – Grade I certification is required to meet the renewal requirements.

Level 3

Candidates for Level III certification must meet the following requirements to obtain Level II certification:

  • Hold an active PCI Level II certification
  • Hold a valid ACI Field Testing Technician – Grade I certification
  • Meet one of the following experience requirements:
    • Two (2) years of experience in a precast concrete plant
    • Three (3) years of experience in a related field
    • One year of precast concrete plant experience and a bachelor of science degree in civil engineering or related field
    • One year of precast concrete experience and an associate degree in concrete technology
  • Submit a signed and endorsed Level III certification application
  • Attend a PCI Level III QC School
  • Pass a PCI Level III certification examination

Training Manual 103 (TM-103) is the study text used for Level III certification.

Level III recertification requires the submission of the Level III renewal application every five years. Further prerequisites and qualifications are necessary to meet the renewal requirements; these are explained in the renewal application. Please note, a current ACI Field Testing Technician – Grade I certification is NOT required to meet the renewal requirements.

If you do not renew your Level III certification, it will expire and reinstatement will require reexamination via proctored examination or attendance at a PCI Level III QC School.

Field Quality Control Technicians

Today's business environment demands a high degree of training and certification in all areas of concrete manufacture and installation. Customer satisfaction is the principal means of achieving profitability and a thorough quality control program that extends beyond the plant to the point of install is the only way to ensure satisfaction.

Information about training through PCI's Quality Control Schools

Certified Field Auditor

Candidates for Certified Field Auditor must meet the following requirements:

  • Meet one of the following experience requirements:
    • Two years of experience in the erection of precast concrete
    • Four years of related experience
  • Submit a signed and endorsed CFA certification application
  • Attend a PCI CFA School
    • Complete the IES curriculum and examinations
    • Complete an additional day of CFA training and one additional exam
  • Pass a PCI CFA certification exam

Erector’s Manual (MNL-127) and the Erection Safety Manual (MNL-132) are the study texts used for CFA certification.

CFA recertification requires meeting all of the above requirements again five years after the last examination date but does not require attending another PCI CFA School. Recertification with examination is required every five years until the individual has taken three exams over a 10-year period. To apply for CFA recertification, please complete the Proctored Exam Request Packet.

Individuals who have passed three (3) CFA exams over a 10-year period and have been continuously certified at CFA for 15 years no longer have to meet the examination requirement. Further prerequisites and qualifications are necessary to meet the renewal requirements; these are explained in the renewal application.

Individuals who meet this requirement should complete the CFA renewal application.

Certified Company Auditor

Candidates for Certified Company Auditor (CCA) must meet the following requirements:

  • Hold an active CFA certification
  • Have two (2) years of experience in the supervision (foreman or above) of the erection of precast concrete, or equivalent
  • Submit a signed and endorsed CCA certification application
  • Attend a PCI CCA School
  • Pass a PCI CCA certification examination

Erector’s Manual (MNL-127) and the Erection Safety Manual (MNL-132) are the study texts used for CCA certification.

CCA recertification requires meeting all of the above requirements again five years after the last examination date but does not require attending another PCI CCA School. Recertification with examination is required every five years until the individual has taken three exams over a 10-year period. To apply for CCA recertification, please complete the Proctored Exam Request Packet.

Individuals who have passed three (3) CCA exams over a 10-year period and have been continuously certified at CCA for 15 years no longer have to meet the examination requirement. Further prerequisites and qualifications are necessary to meet the renewal requirements; these are explained in the renewal application.

Individuals who meet this requirement should complete the CCA renewal application.

Glass Fiber Reinforced Concrete Technicians

Plant quality control manuals MNL-130 requires that plants have a PCI-certified GFRC technician present at all times during production if the plant produces products with glass fiber reinforced concrete. The GFRC certification examination is not available through a PCI QC School. The GFRC certification examination must be requested through the PCI Proctored Exam Program.

Certified GFRC Technician

Candidates for Certified GFRC Technician must meet the following requirements:

  • Meet one of the following experience requirements:
    • Six (6) months of experience in a GFRC plant
    • Bachelor of science degree in civil engineering or related field
    • Associate degree in concrete technology
  • Submit a signed and endorsed GFRC certification application
  • Pass a PCI GFRC certification examination

GFRC Manual (MNL-130) and the Recommended Practice for GFRC (MNL-128) are the study texts used for GFRC certification.

GFRC recertification requires meeting all of the above requirements again five years after the last examination date. Recertification with examination is required every five years until the individual has taken three exams over a 10-year period. To apply for GFRC recertification, please complete the Proctored Exam Request Packet.

Individuals who have passed three (3) GFRC exams over a 10-year period and have been continuously certified at GFRC for 15 years no longer have to meet the examination requirement. Further prerequisites and qualifications are necessary to meet the renewal requirements; these are explained in the renewal application.

Individuals who meet this requirement should complete the GFRC renewal application.