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TAF Accredited Civil Engineering Laboratories
Taiwan Accreditation Foundation (TAF)
by Wei Huang

Recently, TAF enhanced collaboration with the Third District Maintenance Construction Office, Ministry of Transportation and Communications. The quality of public construction requires the combined effort from regulator, construction contractor and civil engineering testing laboratory. Over the past few years, TAF advocated this concept which has come to receive recognition by the general public as well as regulatory authority. Regulator and construction contractor together decided the quality of the public construction upon its onset. As the check point, civil engineering testing laboratories merely provide the assurance. Placing emphasis on the regulation of civil engineering testing laboratories alone cannot effectively improve the quality of resulting construction. The ultimate goal is to strengthen the control of the quality of material and construction in the system. 

In 2013, TAF and the Third District Maintenance Construction Office conducted a series of joint surveillance assessments of ten selected TAF accredited laboratories. The new regulatory system allows contractors to choose among all accredited testing laboratories. Compared with the previous situation, this has reduced the chance of occurrence of manipulated results by single appointed laboratory under pressure from the contractor. Through the joint assessment, regulator can have better grasp of the management of the testing laboratories, and collect information of the construction contractors and put their history of performance in perspective. 

In this newly developed regulatory system, the Third District Maintenance Construction Office expressed that they quickly observed an improvement in the quality of public construction. The civil engineering testing laboratories state that with the implementation of joint assessment, they now suffer less attempted improper influence from the construction contractors. This successful collaboration between TAF and the Third District Maintenance Construction Office has attracted highly positive recognition in the Ministry of Transportation and Communications. The Third District Maintenance Construction Office plans to expand this collaboration and establish personnel training or other related support.

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