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TCA Company Certification Recognizes and Improves Business Practices

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Certification

The Tilt-Up Concrete Association (TCA) Company Certification program is entering its third year of existence and 8 companies have already been approved from the state of Washington to Nova Scotia, Canada and from Texas to Florida. Applicants have commented that the process was more rigorous and detailed than they had thought it would be, but stated that it has forced them to follow procedures and documentation that they should be practicing. It will save them time and problems if their procedures and policies are ever called into review.

Applicants must have completed at least 15 tilt-up projects or a minimum of 300 panels encompassing 10 jobs within the past 5 years. That has posed challenges for some applicants with the recession over the past year according to Ed Sauter, TCA’s Certification Programs Manager.

In addition to TCA staff, a peer reviewer also participates in the site audit to bring the perspective of a practicing contractor to the evaluation process. Clay Fisher of Woodland Construction, Jupiter, Florida, one of the peer reviewers and the first company to be certified, said, “The peer review process is another opportunity for networking as well as review of practices. I have shared some of my best practices with candidates and have learned from what I have observed. There is more than one way of doing things.”

“The backbones of the program are the quality control/quality assurance and the safety program reviews. Companies must not only have programs and policies in place – they must also demonstrate, which is verified in the site audit, that they follow and document the programs and policies they have in place,” said Fischer.

Ed McGuire, president of Bob Moore Construction added, “The value of TCA certification has been to drive home to our subs and superintendents the importance of the documentation procedures already in our program. All participants can understand the necessity to perform record-keeping requirements that are affirmed by a national organization and subject to annual inspection by that organization. The structure provided by TCA certification standards also helps us to develop new superintendents’ understanding and completion of the documentation as required. TCA certification hasn’t changed our policies and priorities; it has reinforced our policies and priorities, and our company values as well.”

B.D. Stevens Ltd., of Dartmouth, NS, the first Canadian company to be TCA-certified provided some unique challenges, according to Sauter. The documentation of safety records presented challenges since the standard used in the U.S., such as OSHA 300 or 300a logs and Work Experience Modifiers, don’t exist (at least in the same form) in Canada. Safety reporting is still a requirement for Canada, so the TCA program has built-in flexibility to accommodate different metrics for safety performance and documentation.

According to Luke Eliot of B.D. Stevens Ltd., “The TCA program gives us a tool for checking our commitment to quality that exceeds what we were doing before, with an added commitment from our staff, inside and out on the field, to follow the newly enhanced criteria.”

“The Company Certification process was involved and required attention, all of which was enormously beneficial to our company,” said Eliot. “The process could be viewed as intimidating at first glance but I would suggest that it works out to be quite the opposite. It was very comfortable and the enhancements to our operation will provide ongoing benefits. I would recommend it to any contractor with a vision to improve their company.”

“As a tilt-up contractor we want to promote the design and construction of quality tilt-up buildings, and to distinguish who has the skill and experience to do the job right,” Eliot continued. “The TCA certification program gives us that designation and helps solidify our company as a leader in the tilt-up industry.”

The individual superintendent certification program, sponsored jointly by TCA and the American Concrete Institute (ACI), is helpful to establish quality and knowledge on a specific job, but approval as a TCA-Certified company establishes a benchmark for the entire company, its processes, and its commitment to safety and quality.

While gathering documentation for submittal and preparing for the on-site audit by peer reviewers is challenging, the results have been gratifying to those who have gone through the process. To begin the process of getting your company TCA-Certified, contact Ed Sauter at (319) 895-6911 or esauter@tilt-up.org. Download the TCA Company Certification Program Policies and Procedures Manual at www.tilt-up.org/certification.

The Tilt-Up Concrete Association will unveil fully revised guidelines promoting the specification of TCA-Certified Companies at the upcoming American Institute of Architects (AIA) national convention in Atlanta, GA this spring.

Current TCA Certified Companies:

  • Woodland Construction Company, Inc., Jupiter, FL
  • Seretta Construction, Inc., Apopka, FL
  • Citadel Contractors, Inc., Apex, NC
  • Bob Moore Construction, Inc., Arlington, TX
  • Divcon, Inc., Spokane, WA
  • Big-D Construction Corp., Salt Lake, City, UT
  • B.D. Stevens Limited, Dartmouth, NS
  • TAS Commercial Concrete Const., L.L.C., Houston, TX
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TILT-UP TODAY, a publication of the Tilt-Up Concrete Association, is THE source for Tilt-Up industry news, market intelligence, business strategies, technical solutions, product information, and other resources for professionals in the Tilt-Up industry. A subscription to TILT-UP TODAY is included in a TCA membership. Subscriptions for potential TCA members are also available. If you would like to receive a complimentary subscription to the publication, please contact the TCA.