FHWA-NHI-131141 Quality Assurance for Highway Construction Projects - MTS

Construction materials account for about 50% of Federal-aid spending (FHWA internal review citation here). Therefore, it is critical for States to have a quality assurance (QA) program to ensure that projects perform as expected and are long lasting. In fact, all States are required to have a QA program for Federal-aid projects on the NHS (23 CFR 637), but risks and inconsistencies in those programs present significant challenges to maintaining levels of quality in materials and project-produced materials such as asphalt, concrete, aggregate and soil.

NHI 131141 Quality Assurance for Highway Construction Projects helps you (1) understand the impact and importance of operating a sound quality assurance program, (2) realize the associated risks to payment, and (3) recognize risks to infrastructure performance. During the course you will consistently apply quality assurance concepts and identify strengths and weaknesses in your own agency's QA program.

This new 2-day instructor-led course prepares you to identify and use the six core elements of a quality assurance program for all types of highway projects, from the simplest to most complex. All the course content, including risk-based content, is related to practical experiences and provides numerous opportunities to share and learn from other participants. Topics include:

-Basics of quality assurance

-Quality assurance program requirements including industry and agency support, the six core elements of a program, and the use of QA specifications

-Quality control and acceptance including contractor and agency roles and responsibilities; QC plans; sampling, testing, and inspection; and control charts

-Using data to measure quality including collecting data, analyzing data, interpreting data, and quantifying data variability

-Payment including percent within limits and pay factors

-Verification and materials testing dispute resolution

Upon completion of the course, participants will be able to:

  • Consistently apply fundamental quality assurance concepts, terminology, and definitions
  • Relate each of the six core elements of quality assurance to successful implementation of a quality assurance program
  • Describe an organizational culture of quality
  • Describe the quality assurance roles and responsibilities of agency and contractor personnel
  • Apply the sampling protocols and mathematical concepts used to measure variability, review the effects of statistical distribution, and validate data to assess quality
  • Describe the proper use of materials testing and inspection data for acceptance
  • Relate successful quality assurance practices to alternative contracting methods
  • Learn effective quality assurance practices to minimize the variability and life cycle cost associated with the construction and maintenance of a highway project


This is an intermediate-level course for personnel with at least one year's experience working with transportation materials and construction who apply QA specifications on transportation construction projects. Typical attendees include: Federal, state, and local agency materials and construction staff including inspectors, lab personnel, field technicians, and project managers, as well as Headquarters' engineers and Region- or District-level engineers and technicians. Secondary audiences that will benefit from the course and add value to discussions include contractor personnel, particularly their quality control managers. Additionally, consultants working for contractors or the agency as part of the quality assurance program could benefit.


Credit Hours

Road Scholar Hours

Continuing Education Credits (CEUs)


Road Scholar Credits

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