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Anchor inspector certification by ACI


Registered User
May 18, 2016
About a year ago ACI launched a program for certifying inspectors of adhesive anchors. Well, sort of. ACI publishes training materials, but does not offer the exams themselves, rather relying on a sponsoring group like a local ACI chapter to host the training and exam programs locally. This is fine if you reside in a populous region like Los Angeles, which has an ACI chapter, but not so fine if you live in a state without an active chapter. So an inspector may have to travel to sit for an exam. Then there's the cost. This is determined by the sponsoring group. One group is asking for $475. Another $505. Another still can be ? Over 200 have certified so far according to ACI.

The inspector certification is voluntary but not for long it appears. ACI is working on revising the 318 Code to make the certification mandatory. ACI is also planning to expand the certification to add other anchor types to the certification besides masonry to add expansion anchors. So building officials will have to enforce this requirement of it makes it into the 2021 IBC, as planned.

Why is this a concern? First, the codes have refrained from requiring certification of inspectors, leaving this decision to the local authorities. Now inspectors for a specific task, anchors, will have to be certified. Many jurisdictions require certification but many do not, because there may be a lack of certified people in certain regions.

Another concern is ACI 318 will require the inspectors certification be done to the ACI certification program. The ACI Code has required adhesive anchor installers to be verified for certain installations the last seven years and this has become very frustrating because ACI could not keep up with the demand and the availability of certified installers was very spotty. This occurred because ACI could not force a sponsoring group to offer an exam so offerings were few and limited to certain regions.Also the exam had a high failure rate, and inspectors who didn't pass had to retake the entire exam. ACI was found to be a poor steward for a program it legislated for itself.

Building officials should be aware of the situation before adopting the 2019 ACI 318 code. If you share these concerns you will have an opportunity to express your concerns when the document goes out for public review early next year.