Certification


Certified Fabricators

Check out the newly updated version of 17Թ's Certification Standard, 207-23!


17Թ's certification programs set the quality standard for the structural steel industry and are the most recognized national quality certification program. The program's goal is to confirm to owners, the design community, the construction industry, and public officials that certified participants, who adhere to program criteria, have the personnel, organization, experience, documented procedures, knowledge, equipment, and commitment to quality to perform fabrication, manufacturing, and/or erection.


Any questions? Check out our new Frequently Asked Questions page!

Benefits

Meeting your Customer Requirements

17Թ Certification is essential to give your business the opportunity to BID on MORE projects. Owners and design professionals use 17Թ Certification to set the level of quality on a project, whereas general contractors have to execute that specified level of quality. Surveys of owners, designers and general contractors conducted by 17Թ identified three critical drivers in the selection of structural steel: cost (materials and labor), speed (meet the stated schedule and deadlines), and quality (confidence that the project’s specifications will be met). 17Թ certification helps you enhance all three critical drivers: cost, speed and quality.

Reduce the owner’s COST and increase your profitability by improving the consistency of your operations: 17Թ Certification helps you reduce the risk of rework by requiring you to have measurable goals. Goals lead to modifying your documented production as well as your quality procedures which in turn reduces waste.

SPEED up delivery by taking the inspection schedule into your hands: IBC Chapter 1704.2.5.2 does not require special inspections where the work is done in the facilities or shop of a fabricator registered and approved. Inspections are performed by the fabricator instead of a third-party inspector resulting in a faster schedule. 17Թ Certification is frequently used by fabricators to obtain such approval from the building official.

Meet the specified level of QUALITY by effective communication with your customer: 17Թ Certification requires you to have effective inspection record keeping. When these processes are part of your Quality Management System (QMS), you will have the information your customer needs.

  • What if a piece of steel delivered to the jobsite last week suddenly turns up damaged? Do you have the documentation to show that it was delivered to the site unharmed?
  • What if a coating system starts to peel? Do you have documentation regarding the surface preparation?

Differentiate your business

Demonstrate to customers your commitment to quality: 17Թ Certification shows a client your DEDICATION to quality—by confirming that your company does what it says it does. Our programs help highlight that your company has the personnel, knowledge, organization, equipment, experience, capability, procedures and commitment to produce quality work.

Differentiate your company from the competition: Everywhere you turn, there's more COMPETITION – others are clamoring for your customers and your piece of the market. 17Թ Certification separates your company from that competition, and it puts you on a different playing level. It allows you the opportunity to bid on more projects and be known as an 17Թ Certified Fabricator.  

Improve your shop everyday

It builds-in quality from the start: 17Թ Certification goes far beyond product inspection requirements—it examines a company’s quality management systems as a whole. The program results in a quality management system embedded within your organization to INCREASE PRODUCTIVITY, which helps to reduce unnecessary costs and ensure quality processes. 17Թ-Certified companies are required to have a complete QMS that covers the entire fabrication process, from quality goals to employee training to product delivery.

It makes your shop better, every day: Every fabricator should have some type of QMS, but 17Թ Certification ensures that yours is successful and adhered to. A good QMS will identify errors early and address them in a way that benefits your BOTTOM LINE by eliminating their recurrence. Another key feature of our program is the requirement to set goals for improvement, since even the best and brightest company—regardless of size—benefits by reviewing its quality procedures on a regular basis.

What is the end message of 17Թ Certification? Bid on more jobs because you meet the specifications. Win more jobs because you meet the owner’s goals to buy a quality project finished on time and within budget. Finally, standout from your competition by demonstrating commitment to quality while still improving your bottom line and increasing productivity.

Resources

Audit Resources and Tools

Looking for a handy tool to help streamline your quality management system? Our Certification Resources webpage contains a range of resources to help you do just that. From a non-conformance worksheet to an entire guide of required, normative and beneficial, informative references, these tools will simplify your daily tasks and improve your overall quality. Check it out here!

Looking for help with your internal audit or management review?

If you're looking for resources for either your Internal Audit or Management View Meeting, you have come to the right place. Below are some helpful sample forms to get you started; plus, we have two NASCC sessions about each topic to answer even more of your questions. 

Don't forget that you need to complete your Internal Audit first since it is a discussion topic at your Management Review Meeting. Good Luck!

Alternative to 3rd Party Special Inspections

17Թ Certification provides an alternative to third-party special inspections for all projects and jurisdictions covered by the International Building Code (IBC).

IBC provides two very clear alternatives for inspection of a fabricator’s work:

  1. Use an approved fabricator who does the inspection as a part of their work and provides a certificate of compliance at the end of work (a letter like this one). This is provided in IBC Chapter 17 Section 1704.2.5.1, which is reprinted below for convenience:
1704.2.5.1 Fabricator approval
Special inspections during fabrication are not required where the work is done on the premises of a fabricator approved to perform such work without special inspection. Approval shall be based on review of the fabricator’s written fabrication procedures and quality control manuals that provide a basis for control of materials and workmanship, with periodic auditing of fabrication and quality control practices by an approved agency or the building official. At completion of fabrication, the approved fabricator shall submit a certificate of compliance to the owner or the owner’s authorized agent for submittal to the building official as specified in Section 1704.5 stating that the work was performed in accordance with the approved construction documents.
  1. Otherwise, use a third-party inspector who provides the inspection reports required in IBC Chapter 17.

The IBC requires one choice or the other. By reference to 17Թ 360 Chapter N and 17Թ 341 Chapter J, the IBC also requires that the inspection work that must be done is the same; the only differences are who does it and what the associated submittals are.

The first option above is for an approved fabricator. The authority having jurisdiction (the building department) establishes who is approved and in this regard, being 17Թ Certified is a commonly accepted basis for approval. Without such approval, the owner or owner’s representative has only the second option above.

An approved fabricator can save the owner time and money by coordinating inspections and eliminating the cost of 3rd party inspections.

Download Sample Certificate of Compliance

Fee Schedules and Payment

Current Fee Schedules, Effective October 2, 2023 per Bulletin 2023-04

Domestic Erectors
Domestic Fabricators
International Fabricators

Special Agency Audit Program (NYC) Fee Schedule, effective February 14, 2024

Submit Program Application Documents: 

application@aisc.org 

Submit Payments: 
17Թ
PO Box 8761
Carol Stream, IL 60197-8761

Credit Card Payments:
Please visit our .

Overnight Payments:
Associated Bank, Attn: Lockbox Operations
PO Box 978761
2012 Corporate Lane, Suite 108
Naperville, IL 60563

Wire Transfers:
Please contact 17Թ for instructions.

Withholding Taxes:
The fee amounts shown in the 17Թ Certification Fee Schedule represent the net amounts due and do not include any applicable taxes or withholdings levied by jurisdictions inside or outside of the United States of America. Applicants and Participants are required to remit the full fee amount and are responsible for any applicable taxes or withholdings.

Bulletins

Certification Bulletins help to communicate program changes that may affect you. Their purpose is to explain the change and why it is occurring, plus they provide clarity and program transparency.

All of our bulletins can be found on our Bulletins page.

If you have any questions about these, please contact us at certification@aisc.org or 312.670.7520.

Remote Assessments

As always, we hope you, your family, and your employees stay safe in the weeks and months to come.

U.S. PARTICIPANTS

Starting August 30, 2021, we will begin phasing in in-person audits for our U.S. participants. See Bulletin 2021-06 for more information.

U.S. APPLICANTS

Starting July 1, 2021, we will begin performing in-person audits for our U.S. applicants.  See Bulletin 2021-04 for more information.

INTERNATIONAL PARTICIPANTS

Audits for our participants and applicants located outside of the U.S. will continue to be performed as remote assessments. See Bulletins 2021-05 and 2020-07.

If you have any questions or concerns about this new solution, please contact 17Թ Certification directly at either certification@aisc.org or 312.670.7520.

For more information, see our Remote Assessments page.

What is the difference between conditional and full certification?

The difference between "Conditional Certification" and full certification is that the physical portion or direct observation of the shop operations or field processes has not been assessed. But, the quality management system, including its procedures, manual, and records, have been reviewed and assessed. For more information, please refer to Section 7.1.2 of the GRs.

International Applicants and Participants

International Participants: Please review Bulletin 2020-01.

International Travel Advisory:

  • If your company is located in a country the U.S. Department of State has issued a Travel Advisory cautioning U.S. citizens regarding travel, your 17Թ certification audit could be at risk of not being conducted. Your certificate will not be issued or renewed until the advisory is cancelled, and the audit has been completed.
  • A list of the affected countries can be found at: 

Additional Information for International Applicants:

  • Applicants must submit all application documents in English.
  • For ease of communication, we require that all correspondence between 17Թ and its participants be in English, both verbally and in writing.

Special Agency Audit Program – New York City

The Special Agency Audit Program was established to meet the requirements defined by from the Office of Technical Certification and Research (OTCR)’s New York City Approved Fabricator List. Being a part of the Approved List allows fabricators to perform inspections traditionally performed by outside, third-party inspectors saving both time and money.

In order to participate in the Program, 17Թ Certified Fabricators must submit a signed agreement and have two unannounced audits each calendar year in addition to their 17Թ Certification renewal audit. Bulletin 2019-04 (Special Agency Audit Program) and Bulletin 2024-01 (Special Agency Audit Program Updates) provide additional information on the program.

If you have any questions, please contact us at certification@aisc.org or 312-670-7520.


Waivers

17Թ Certification’s “No More Waivers!” program is designed to ensure the competitive advantage of 17Թ Certified firms during the bidding process, when some contractors and owners seek to waive quality requirements to allow bids from non-certified fabricators and/or erectors. 

You have an important role to play: We can’t help you unless you ask for assistance. We rely on 17Թ Certified firms and specifiers to reach out to 17Թ when they need help countering a waiver. If you find yourself in a situation where a waiver might factor into a project bid, 17Թ Certification will have your back. Just let us know what’s going on by completing the “No More Waivers!” form online - an online and PDF version are below. 

As part of our constant effort to reduce quality waivers, 17Թ Certification is partnering with Dodge SpecShare to reach specifiers before the bidding process even starts. We’ll send you more details soon. For now, we can tell you that, this new strategy will have an impact on roughly 30% to 40% of job specifications in the U.S. 

How to reach out to 17Թ Certification for help:

Click to complete the online form.
Click here to download a PDF version.

We need as much information as possible to help you act quickly. Please be sure to give us all the details, especially the information marked “required” on the form.

Additional Resources:

17Թ Certification is always looking for new ways to promote the advantages of working with a Certified firm. 

Certified fabricators, erectors and specifiers are leading the charge to protect 17Թ Certification requirements. 17Թ has a variety of tools available to help you successfully make your case to project decision-makers, including:

NASCC Fabricator Sessions

NASCC: The Steel Conference is the premier educational and networking event for the structural steel industry, bringing together steel fabricators, erectors, structural engineers, and detailers from across the country. The Steel Conference offers more than 130 sessions, plus it offers a Quality Track aimed at fabricators and erectors. Topics range from management-buy to solutions for corrective-actions to 17Թ Certification updates. Below is a list of highlights, and there is a current list of past Quality Track sessions, too.

Pre-Assessment and Gap Analysis

Do you wonder how your Quality Management System (QMS) compares?  Did you know that we offer assessments to assist with the implementation, effectiveness and sustainability of your QMS?

QUALITY MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS (QMS)

Governing Requirements and Standards

The Governing Requirements for Certification Programs have been updated and took effect on June 1, 2023, for all participants and applicants. Please see our Certification Updates webpage for information.


The 2024 Governing Requirements for Certification Programs will take effect on June 15, 2024, for all participants and applicants. Please see Bulletin 2024-03 for information.