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Cement industry training – part two

World Cement,

The ASTM training approach

Standards Development Organisations (SDOs) are responding to the rising need for standards training in a number of ways.

For example, ASTM International developed a Construction Materials Technician Training Series. To meet the needs of members and customers in the industry, the training was created with a flexible approach. Online, self-guided and self-paced modules were determined to be the best way to remove barriers to training such as time, travel and other costs.

In developing this program, the company wanted to make sure that participants could access the courses anytime, anywhere. In addition, ASTM partnered with the American Concrete Institute (ACI) to develop the concrete and aggregate modules.

The programme addresses more than 40 standard methods and practices related to:

  • Aggregate base testing.
  • Aggregate testing.
  • Cement testing.
  • Concrete field testing.
  • Concrete strength.
  • Self-consolidating concrete.

Examples of specific standards covered by the training series include: compressive strength of hydraulic cement, setting time of hydraulic cement paste, making and curing concrete specimens in the field, slump of self-consolidating concrete and impurities in aggregates for concrete. Each course focuses on a single standard.

The series aims to prepare employees for certification through ACI, the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies (NICET) and US state-based transportation agencies. In addition, the courses are registered with the American Institute of Architects Continuing Education Systems for continuing professional education.

Already, this training has been cited as a key reason for higher-than-national pass rates for ACI certification in Southern California.

The training is also being used to meet the requirements of the AMRL Accreditation Program (the American Association of State Highway Transportation Officials Materials Reference Laboratory).


Not long ago, training was limited to attending courses in person or exchanging information by mail. It’s time to bring cement industry training – particularly training that relates to standards – into the 21st century. The possibilities are endless: from audiovisual content, to mobile apps, to training tools accessed through the standards themselves. Working together we can make standards training even more flexible, accessible and enjoyable for workers.

As the world’s experts in cement and concrete continue to come together to create and revise ASTM standards, training from ASTM International will stay current alongside them.

This is part two of a two-part article written for World Cement’s March issue and abridged for the website. Subscribers can read the full issue by signing in, and can also catch up on-the-go via our new app for Apple and Android. Non-subscribers can access a preview of the December 2015 issue here.

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