Specify Certified ACI Flatwork Finishers & Everyone Benefits

The American Concrete Institute (ACI) began the Concrete Flatwork Finisher/Technician certification program in 1987. The program was designed to provide a basis for certifying concrete finishers and to improve the quality of concrete construction. The program has grown to include more than 10 years of training class and exams at the World of Concrete. Today, ACI lists more than 2,300 certified Concrete Flatwork Finisher/Technicians on their website. But the need for more is growing!

Other ACI certification programs
Other certification programs of interest to finishers that are being developed include: specialty commercial/industrial concrete flatwork finisher/technician, decorative flatwork finisher, and pervious concrete craftsman.

In addition ACI offers these other certification programs:

  • Concrete Field Testing Technician Grade I
  • Concrete Strength Testing Technician
  • Concrete Laboratory Testing Technician Grade I and Grade II
  • Field Aggregate Testing Technician
  • Laboratory Aggregate Testing Technician
  • Concrete Transportation Construction Inspector
  • Concrete Construction Special Inspector
  • Tile-up Supervisor and Technician
  • Shotcrete Nozzleman Dry and Wet Process
To learn more about ACI certification programs contact John Nehasil, Managing Director, ACI Certification at john.nehasil@concrete.org or call (248) 848-3790.
Certified finishers required NOW!
More and more major retailers specify that contractors have ACI-certified flatwork finishers onsite performing the work. ACI Committee 301 (Specifications for Concrete) took a major step toward formally recognizing the value of using ACI-certified finishers and technicians when, in 2002, they passed language that states in part, "...Unless otherwise permitted, a minimum of one finisher or finishing supervisor shall be a certified ACI Flatwork Finisher/Technician or a certified Flatwork Technician defined in ACI CP-10 or equivalent." This was the first time ACI Committee 301 had prepared and forwarded a revision to ACI 3013 with language requiring the use of qualified flatwork finishers for concrete placement.

ARCOM, a partner of the American Institute of Architects, also includes optional language in their MASTERSPEC® Specification System, requiring that cast-in-place concrete installers be ACI-Certified Flatwork Finishers and Technicians, and that installer supervisors be ACI Certified Flatwork Technicians.

To meet these specifications, contractors will need to hire certified finishers or hire and train finishers and get them certified.

How to be a Certified ACI Flatwork Finisher
ACI grants a Concrete Flatwork Finisher/Technician certification to an examinee that meets the following requirements:

  • One year (1,500 hours) of work experience in finishing concrete flatwork and the successful completion of a performance evaluation or three years (4500 hours) of work experience in finishing concrete flatwork and the successful completion of an alternative performance evaluation based on signed affidavits verifying abilities; and
  • A passing grade of 70% on the written examination.
Individuals without the necessary work experience may still become certified as an ACI Concrete Flatwork Technician by passing the written exam alone.

The written and performance examinations are derived from ACI publication CCS-1, Slabs on Grade.2 The exams require knowledge of:

  • Basic concrete technology,
  • Concrete materials and mixture proportioning,
  • Concrete quality control tests,
  • Proper use of placing and finishing tools,
  • Placing, finishing, and jointing, and
  • Curing and protection.
Recertification is required every five years, and requires successful completion of a written examination.

Finding Training Classes and Examinations
Classes and examinations are available through ACI's network of Local Sponsoring Groups (www.acicertification.org). A preparatory class and examination is also available annually at World of Concrete. The study guide, ACI publication CP-10(05)1 is available directly from the local sponsoring group, the ACI online bookstore at www.concrete.org, or by calling ACI Member Services at (248) 848-3800.

The American Society of Concrete Contractors (ASCC) offers flatwork finisher/technician training and exam at various locations throughout the United States based on contractor needs.

Contact ASCC at www.ascconline.org or Julie Holtgrave at jholtgrave@ascconline.org or call (866) 788-2722.

About the Author:
Bruce A Suprenant, PhD, PE, FACI
Senior Construction Engineer
Contact Information
Concrete Engineering Specialists, LLC
7720 Ferris Way
Boulder, CO 80303
(303) 499-0264
Email: bsuprenant@ConcreteES.com
fax (307) 635-7250

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© 2006 L&M Construction Chemicals, Inc. | ConcreteNews Summer 2006.

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