The latest episode of the AASHTO re:source podcast sits down with Sonya Puterbaugh to get a “behind-the-scenes” look at how AASHTO re:source schedules assessments for over 2,000 laboratories.
[Above image via AASHTO re:source]
AASHTO re:source – a division of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials – provides services and tools through three major programs: the Laboratory Assessment Program or LAP, the Proficiency Sample Program or PSP, and the AASHTO Accreditation Program. It launched this podcast series in September 2020.
Puterbaugh – LAP director for AASHTO re:source – noted that scheduling assessments requires a lot of coordination both on her team’s end and that of the laboratories they plan to visit.
“What we try to do is predict where we [her LAP team] will be every three to six months. We do a six month projection where we say ‘OK, based on the staff that we have currently and how quickly we’re moving through the certain part of the country, this is we’re going to be in three months and then in six months,’ and from there we can contact those labs and say, ‘Hey, it’s time for you to submit an [assessment] request.’”
Puterbaugh said that usually provides laboratories with four and two months’ notice before her LAP teams are even in their area. “So you have to do a little bit of future planning there or prediction. And then, after all of the requests have been submitted, the assessment coordinator makes the assessment schedule,” she explained.
It’s a lot harder than it sounds, noted Puterbaugh on the podcast, because AASHTO re:source must conduct assessments on those 2,000 laboratories every two years – and those labs are scattered across all 50 states, with a few outside the U.S. as well, such as one in Belgium and one in Mexico.
To listen to the full podcast, click here.