Certified Office Technician Process
The department received approval from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) to adopt a four-year record certification program for MDOT and local government engineers. The FHWA also granted our request to extend the certification of currently certified engineers by one year.
The attached Engineer Certification Program information supersedes the procedure set forth in Section 110 of the 2003 Construction Manual.
The Engineer Certification Program procedure is revised as follows:
- Reflects the four-year certification period.
- Requires the person performing office technician duties to attend office technician training during each four-year certification period.
- The review team is changed to reflect current practice.
- Wage rate interviews and certified payrolls will be checked during the review of the active project for compliance.
- The certification review team may further monitor the project documentation at anytime during the four-year certification period, if necessary.
We request that you encourage all qualified local agency engineers in your area to take advantage of the four-year certification program.
See the revised record certification list (06-01-2017) below.
Engineer Certification Program
The certification period is four years. In order to be eligible for the four year certification, the engineer must meet the following criteria:
- Recommendation for certification by the region or TSC.
- A minimum of two projects must be completed and accepted, and an active project must be available for review.
- Newly appointed or non-certified engineers must participate in project administration training (i.e., office technician training).
- The person performing the office technician duties must attend office technician training during each four year certification period. The Certification Review Team may waive this requirement for members of the Office Technology Training Team. The office technician training may also be waived if the engineer passes at least 95 percent of the criteria to become certified.
A local agency engineer must be an employee of a local government agency, and meet the above criteria.
The region or TSC notifies the Engineer of Construction and Technology in writing when an engineer meets the eligibility criteria. For local governments, you must indicate the engineer and agency.
A certification review team is established consisting of Construction and Technology Division staff with knowledge and experience in construction and materials documentation, as well as a representative from the region, if available. The team is responsible for certification review of the delivery/project engineers’ project records, and a subsequent recommendation to the Engineer of Construction and Technology and the region engineer. Following is the procedure and items the team will review:
- Notify the engineer to be certified and setup the time and date for the review.
- Review a minimum of two projects.
- Review a minimum of 15 contract items. The selection ratio is 10 final and 5 interim items. From the projects available for review, projects and items selected will represent significant monetary value.
- Select items based on methods of measurement such as volume, weight, length, area, unit, etc. It is mandatory that major items such as earthwork, bituminous, concrete and aggregate surfaces be reviewed and, when applicable, that one force account item be reviewed.
- Review the supporting documentation for any extensions of time approved without liquidated damages.
- Review the project and material documentation for each selected item to verify that specifications are met and required approvals for materials or specification changes are in place.
- Review a contract modification for extras approved by the region engineer, TSC manager or delivery engineer to determine if the format and explanation are consistent with the Construction Manual and applicable bureau of highway instructional memoranda.
- Check wage rate interviews and certified payrolls for compliance to the prevailing wages set forth in the contract.
- Upon completion of the review, the review team will meet with the engineer to discuss their findings. If deficiencies are found by the review team, the engineer will be given 30 days to address them.
- Once the review team is notified that the deficient items have been addressed, they will conduct a follow-up review.
- Upon completion of the follow-up review, the team will make its recommendation to certify or not certify to the Engineer of Construction and Technology and the region engineer.
- The engineer and region is notified in writing whether the Engineer of Construction and Technology and region engineer approve the recommendation from the team or not.
- If approved, the MDOT or local agency engineer is certified for four years to submit final estimates without further review.
- The certification review team may further monitor the project documentation at any time during the four year certification period, if deemed necessary.
- If a new engineer is assigned before a project is closed out, the final estimate will be submitted under the certification of the engineer who completed the majority of the work on the project. The region engineer or TSC manager must provide the Construction and Technology Division’s Region Services Unit with a list of projects that will be closed out under the departing certified engineer.
The Project Record Certification, Form 1117, requires an abbreviated response from the team indicating that:
- Proper documentation was used,
- Measurements were according to specifications,
- Documents were signed and dated,
- Documentation was identified for the project, and
- All materials used were tested or certified, and shown to be within specifications.
The team will indicate this on the form as pass, fail, or not applicable (P, F, NA). An engineer must pass (P) 80 percent of each criteria (measurement per specification, proper testing and test documents and prescribed forms completed, signed and dated) to become certified.
If the engineer does not meet the 80 percent criteria, or if the criteria are met and the failing items (F) are of major concern to the Engineer of Construction and Technology and the region engineer, the engineer will not be certified. The region will review all projects for one year. If after this period of time, the region believes the engineer has met the certification criteria, a request for a records review is made in writing to the Engineer of Construction and Technology.
All interim file review deficiencies should be addressed prior to a final project record review. All deficiencies discovered during the interim file review must be addressed with the final record review deficiencies.
MDOT and consultant staff that conducts interim and final project record reviews must conduct an initial project record review finding meeting with TSC Construction Engineers, Consultant Project Engineers or Local Agency Project Engineers. This meeting is to occur near the completion or at the completion of the actual file review and before the issuance of the interim or final project record review corrective action list. This meeting will allow the engineer to correct simple misfiling issues, provide clarifications, and address unique issues before the final report is issued. The meeting is intended to discuss and address items in a quick manner before the reviewer leaves the office of the engineer at the completion of the review. It is not intended to be a long term pre-corrective list of issues to address.
The requirement to follow all applicable documentation and project administration oversight procedures for federal and state funded projects is of paramount importance. Failure to follow the procedures can result in loss of State and/or Federal-Aid funding for the projects.
All staff performing the role of Office Technician and handling the oversight of project documentation for state or Federal-Aid projects must have a current, non-expired, MDOT Office Technician Certification on file. These requirements apply to all State and Federal-Aid funded projects, MDOT, and/or local agency, including all projects overseen by the local agency, MDOT, and/or their consultant representative including maintenance projects that are let through the MDOT letting system. Certification expiration notices will not be sent out as it is the responsibility of each certified person to schedule their renewal and maintain current certification. All existing office technician certification or similarly titled certifications expire after four (4) years unless stated otherwise.