Ready Mix Concrete Plant Certification Scheme

Quality of concrete being produced and used in construction has remained one of the major concerns of owners and specifiers. Unfortunately, till very recently, no established framework was available to ensure quality. The Ready Mixed Concrete Manufacturers’ Association (RMCMA) was the first to initiate efforts to evolve a framework for quality for ready mixed concrete. It was based on two strong pillars – best practices followed in advanced countries and adherence to provisions in the Indian standards. Two Quality Manuals prepared by an expert committee contain the details of the RMCMA Scheme. This plant audit-based scheme was launched in December 2008 and around 250 RMC facilities at 50-plus locations in India (mostly belonging to RMCMA member companies) were audited and certified by the RMCMA.

After operating this quality scheme successfully for nearly four years, RMCMA decided to raise the quality scheme to a higher pedestal. For this purpose, RMCMA signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Quality Council of India (QCI) – a non-profit, national apex organization wedded to quality facilitation, accreditation and surveillance.

QCI took the initiative of setting up three committees, namely, the Steering Committee, Technical Committee and Certification Committee. Experts from Multi Stakeholder organizations were invited to be the members of these committees. The involvement of these organizations in the evolution of the scheme ensured that the ownership is broad-based and comprises of representatives from major owners and specifiers in the country, using large volumes of concrete.

Three expert committees set up by QCI

The evolution of QCI scheme took more than one-and-a-half year. Three following painstakingly prepared Scheme Manuals were finalized by the expert committees.

Multi Stakeholder Ownership

The QCI Scheme conforms to the requirements of the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS), Indian Roads Congress (IRC), Indian Railway Standards (IRS), etc. and is applicable for plants supplying concrete commercially, those supplying concrete for specific project, and plants supplying concrete partly on commercial basis and partly for captive consumption. Scheme excludes operations of placing, compaction, finishing and curing of concrete.

QCI Scheme Manuals prepared by multi-stakeholder committees

The QCI Scheme offers two options of certifications:

RMC Capability Certification is the crux of the QCI Scheme. Comprehensive criterion has been developed by the Technical Committee which is documented under the Scheme Manual “Criteria for Production Control of Ready Mixed Concrete”. Besides the audit of the plant and machinery and the control mechanism adopted by the producer, the criteria also embody laboratory testing facilities, technical skills of the human resources, the controls exercised on the quality of different concrete ingredients, mix design and the final product.

The production control criteria which can be considered to be heart of the scheme include the following six main features:

Certification Process

Detailed procedures for carrying out certification under the QCI Scheme have been evolved and are explained in the Certification Manual. The broad aspects covered under the procedures are as below:

Approval System for Certification Bodies

The Certification Bodies (CBs) which would be auditing and certifying the ready-mixed concrete plants under the RMCPCS need to primarily comply with the requirements specified in ISO 17065 and additional requirements specified by the Quality Council of India. With a view to commence the operation of the scheme immediately, a Provisional System for Approval of the CBs was evolved, documented and approved by the Certification Committee. Stringent requirements have been specified the committee for the CBs operating the scheme. The Minimum Competence Requirements of Auditors auditing the RMCPCS have been specified. Further, the CBs will be subjected to a through yearly audit. They need to obtain accreditation from National Accreditation Board for Certification Bodies (NABCB) under the QCI.

Minimum Competence Requirement of Auditors


The QCI Quality Scheme provides a comprehensive framework of controlling quality of concrete from ready-mixed concrete plants. The Key Benefits of the Scheme to owners/specifiers, RMC producers, small customers and concrete industry are highlighted.

Key Benefits of QCI Scheme