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Proficiency Testing Schemes for Materials Testing on Rural Roads

Learn the value of Proficiency Testing Schemes (PTS) for soil and materials lab testing on rural roads and how to implement them.

556 enrolled on this course

Proficiency Testing Schemes for Materials Testing on Rural Roads
  • Duration

    3 weeks
  • Weekly study

    3 hours

Discover key management systems for materials testing in rural road development

On this course, you’ll discover the importance of Proficiency Testing Schemes (PTS) for ensuring all findings from rural road development tests conducted in a soil and materials testing laboratory meet national and international standards.

You’ll explore the people, data and maintenance management systems required to support the technical aspects of materials testing. Using case studies from Sub-Saharan Africa, you’ll examine the management and technical aspects of laboratories.

You’ll also learn more about the tests themselves as you discover what can go wrong and how to report results.

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Skip to 0 minutes and 8 seconds Why do we need proficiency testing schemes for materials laboratories for roads? Big question In some countries, up to 80 percent of the roads are not sealed, they are earth roads. The chances are, whether you are going to work, to school, hospital, visiting a friend or going shopping, you will most probably be using a road of some type. Almost all roads are built on soils of some fashion and require other materials such as rocks, in their construction. It is therefore important that soils and other materials used in road construction are tested in a consistent manner, so their performance can be predicted.

Skip to 0 minutes and 49 seconds On this course you will discover the importance of proficiency testing schemes for ensuring that tests conducted on construction materials comply with relevant standards. My name is Gurmel Ghataora, and I will be leading this course. I have been in the geotechnical engineering industry since 1972. I am a senior lecturer in the Department of Civil Engineering at the University of Birmingham and I have been here since 1990. My area of research is in materials used in the construction and maintenance of low cost roads. At the end of this course, you will have learnt about proficiency testing and why we need it for soils and materials laboratories for road construction. I look forward to welcoming you to the course.

What topics will you cover?

Establishing and managing a Proficiency Testing Scheme.

An explanation of the different types of laboratory tests available to test the performance of the materials used to construct low volume rural roads.

Statistical methods used to assess the results of the laboratory tests.

Why there is a need for repeatability and reproducibility.

Case studies of the Proficiency Testing Scheme approach.

When would you like to start?

  • Date to be announced

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Learning on this course

You can take this self-guided course and learn at your own pace. On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Explore research from the Research for Community Access Partnership (ReCap).
  • Reflect on the value of Proficiency Testing Schemes.
  • Model aspects of the Proficiency Testing Scheme (through case studies), for example; staff management; equipment maintenance; data collection and storage; or the technical aspects of testing materials in line with international standards.
  • Apply knowledge of laboratory processes to produce simple statistical analyses of laboratory test results and to interpret the results in order to draft a simple lab report.
  • Explain different types of statistical terminology and tests including confidence limits and intervals, mean, mode, standard deviation, z-scores, hypothesis testing, t-tests.

Who is the course for?

This course is designed for rural road practitioners and road agency employees in Sub Saharan Africa and South Asia.

It will be particularly useful for material technicians and managers in road agencies who are responsible for laboratory testing and proficiency testing schemes.

It is also appropriate for engineering students and researchers studying rural road development and materials testing in emerging and developing countries.

Who will you learn with?

I am a senior lecturer in the Department of Civil Engineering at the University of Birmingham. My main area of research interest is materials used in the construction and maintenance of low cost roads

I am a Senior Lecturer within the School of Engineering at the University of Birmingham. I specialise in researching and teaching road asset management, with a focus on pro-poor development.

Who developed the course?

University of Birmingham

The University of Birmingham is a public research university, consistently listed as a leading UK university and ranked among the top 100 in the world.

Endorsers and supporters

recognised by

ReCAP logo

funded by


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