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LabCAT Program Critique Summary 2014

Levels A, B, C, and E

January 14, 2014 – December 4, 2014

  1. The length of time for the classroom presentation was:

Too long 1

About right 170

Too short 3


  • Perfect.

  • Cindy is awesome.

  • It was very informational.

  • Perhaps illustrate common pitfalls and mistakes associated with test procedures. Comment from Instructor: Those types of discussions have taken place during some sessions. Better suited for training sessions rather than certification sessions.

  • Presentation was too short. We breezed through some slides.

  • Good.

  • Little stressful, that’s all.

  1. Please rate the classroom presentation material:

Excellent 89

Good 83

Fair 6

Poor 0


  • At times the materials did not have enough information, slides can be hard to follow.

  • Cindy is awesome.

  • Good to review recent changes as part of the streamline session.

  • Please have reference book materials in the right order. Comment from Instructor: One book had pages out of order. Tech was given a new book.

  • Hard to write on the colored areas in the manual.

  • Way too many typos in presentation materials.

  • More pictures.

  • Unable to read form examples. Comment from Instructor: Explained where they could be found in FMM in full size.

  • Very good review.

  • Some slides have grammar typos. Comment from Instructor: Corrections will be made.

  • Better videos, more examples to break up the material. Comment from Instructor: This is a certification class and not a training session.

  • Well organized with good examples.

  • CDOT forms were hard to read and could be enlarged. Comment from Instructor: Participants are requested to bring their own FMM to certification. I explain where the forms can be found in the FMM at the beginning of the presentation.

  1. The written exam was:

Very fair 104

Fair 72

Poor 1


  • Some questions didn’t correlate to standard material. Comment from Instructor: Concerns are being addressed.

  • CAPA rocks.

  • Not enough questions exist in some sections for the “minimum percentage correct” policy to be fair. Comment from Instructor: Short procedures have fewer questions. However, all sections have at least 5 questions. Therefore, you can miss one question and still pass the section.

  • The question for splitting sample method “D” refers to “a portion” which could mean “entire sample between slats” or “a portion of material between slats”. This could be more specific because it was hard to understand. Comment from Instructor: The procedure explains “portion” between slots is not acceptable.

  • Some confusion on the time frame for the exam, but very fair. Comment from Instructor: This was resolved.

  • Wish it was open book written exam.

  • Some questions are tricky. Comment from Instructor: Questions are not meant to be tricky.

  • Some tricky.

  • The written exam was very fair, however the wording on some questions was vague. Comment from Instructor: Comment was discussed and suggestions were noted for consideration when making updates in July.

  • Some questions were awkwardly worded. Comment from Instructor: This was discussed, some of the issues were related to the fact that the technician was very new to the industry.

  • Fair yet challenging. Thanks!

  1. The laboratory proficiency orientation was:

Too long 4

About right 159

Too short 9


  • Lab rocks.

  • Great proctors.

  • The lab orientation was too long with too much detail.

  • The laboratory orientation was about right for re-certification. However, if I was here for first time certification, it would have been too short. Comment from Instructor: The orientation is not designed to review procedures. The technician needs to be proficient for certification.

  • Good.

  • Awesome.

  1. Please rate the knowledge of the proctors conducting the laboratory proficiency exams:

Excellent 129

Good 37

Fair 4

Poor 0


  • My proctors were very patient and very fair.

  • Always great,

  • I am not sure how to comment on the knowledge of the proctors. They just asked us questions, we did not ask them any questions. Comment from Instructor: This is how it should be.

  • I found the proctor for sieves to be smug and condescending. Comment from Instructor: I will speak with this proctor, we do not want this attitude happening.

  • They also shared their experiences.

  • Great proctors! (Johnny Lam - CDOT, Paul Wiggs – El Paso County, Mike Ellis – CDOT Region 4 and Todd Mayhew – CDOT Region 4)

  • He was great. (Patrick Kowing – Federal Hwy)

  1. Please rate the knowledge and professionalism of the instructor:

Excellent 152

Good 16

Fair 0

Poor 0


  • We all love Cindy.

  • Cindy is awesome.

  • Very informative and polite to work with.

  • Awesome.

  • Cindy is fair and extremely knowledgeable.

  • Very approachable and seems interested in the success of students and insuring proficiency.

  • Always helpful.

  • Cindy is awesome.

  • Cindy exceeded my expectations.

  • Instructor was extremely knowledgeable.

  • Excellent, very professional instructor.

  • Good attitude and helpful.

  • She did great!

  1. Was the laboratory equipment operating properly:

Yes 158

No 1

  • Not all was used but appeared good.

  • Need a block for nuke gauge. Comment from Instructor: Set up second station to speed things up. We have no block for Instrotek gauge.

  • The stabilometer wasn’t working, but it was fixed during the exam. Comment from Instructor: The equipment was correctly calibrated. The problem occurred because the proctor was not working it correctly. It was then reset.

  1. Were the most current test procedures used during the classroom presentation:

Yes 159

No 1


  • I think so.

  1. If this is your first LabCAT certification, i.e. you have never been LabCAT certified, please rate the benefit of the certification program, as it pertains to your job:

Excellent benefit 50

Good benefit 32

Fair benefit 2

No benefit 0


  • CAPA is the best.

  • I am not a tester, just an inspector. But having more info is always good.

  • I am a lab tech at WesTest. This certification has great benefit.

  • Excellent benefit, I plan to perform Inspector / QA duties when I get back to my region.

  1. If this is a LabCAT re-certification, i.e. you have previously been LabCAT certified, please rate the benefit of the certification program, as it pertains to your job:

Excellent benefit 49

Good benefit 34

Fair benefit 7

No benefit 0


  • Re-certification every 5 years. Comment from Instructor – This has been discussed by the board and voted to keep at 3 years.

  • Excellent benefit, but I have not been asked on a job site if I am certified.

  • Excellent, however I think it should be every 5 years just like ACI and WAQTC.

  • Good benefit. I test soils, splitting, gradations, etc

  1. If this is a LabCAT re-certification, i.e. you have previously been LabCAT certified, which session format did you choose to attend:

“Standard” format (format includes review) 72

“Streamline” format (format is accelerated for re-certification) 4

“PIR” format (format is for qualifying LabCAT Proctors) 1


  • I was enrolled by proxy and had no input.

  • This was selected for me.

  1. Please rate the overall quality of the certification program:

Excellent 105

Good 50

Fair 2

Poor 0


  1. General Comments:

  • The current group of folks at CAPA have worked hard to establish a high level of credibility to the organization. Your efforts are much appreciated.  My only whine this time around is the question of sample size for an SG mix in the moisture content practical exam. (10 points). Too much importance placed on memorizing something most of us don’t use state wide. Comment from Instructor – This will be updated. I agree with the technician’s comment.

  • Thank you.

  • Why test for calibrations only done yearly. Tester should look it up anyway and not have to memorize the microwave calibration. Comment from Instructor – This is not asked in the lab procedure exam, only on the written exam where the tables and schedules are available. We don’t expect or want memorization of such information. We promote knowing when to look up information and reference procedures.

  • My only comment would be to have more proctors available to speed things along. Comment from Instructor – This would require additional room for more stations and equipment.

  • Go CAPA. Go Broncos.

  • These classes are always an excellent way to improve knowledge of materials testing, making me better at my job.

  • Cindy is excellent.

  • The whole experience was really good. I learned a lot from Cindy during the classroom training sessions I took earlier this year. I feel confident about my testing skills.

  • The gyratory should be in the Level “B” certification. Comment from Instructor: Will remain in Level C because it is part of volumetric testing.

  • Instructor and proctors were very knowledgeable. Successful class.

  • Cindy is a pro at what she does.

  • She does an excellent job!

  • Y’all are great!

  • Why are chemical extractions not covered in CAPA? Comment from Instructor: Because CDOT does not perform chemical extractions.

  • Great learning environment.

  • Very informational class. The LabCAT CDOT procedure handouts were helpful, but I would have preferred open book written exam.

  • Some proctors were too slow or detailed for re-certification.

  • Thanks for lunch.

  • Cindy, nice to see you again. Best wishes.

  • Enjoyed learning about the industry.

  • The last couple of days were a challenge for me, but I enjoyed the experience.

  • Up to date procedures are helpful.

  • Thank you. Good job.

  • Did great job.

  • Serve fruit or granola with donuts in the morning. Comment from Instructor: Eat before you come. Could consider instead of donuts.

  • Quick and painless.

  • Very friendly staff, very well done overall.

  • I enjoy Cindy’s personality and knowledge. Thank you Cindy!

  • Tough but fair!

  • My boss wants more certifications in January and February so we don’t have to come in June. Comment from Instructor: We will look at this. However, signing up early will ensure a spot in the session.

  • Written exam was too hard.

  • More proctors would be nice, but I understand it is difficult to get the assistance this time of year. Comment from Instructor: We had a last minute cancellation from one proctor, another arrived very late, and a third was new, which required proctor orientation. Large class with ¾ first time technicians.

  • I like the LabCAT on the white board. Your equipment is really clean.

  • CDOT Form 428 in handout could be larger in the workbook. Comment from Instructor: The intent is that techs have and use their CDOT FMM as a resource to look up forms etc.

  • Math equations should be written out. Comment from Instructor: Techs should look in their FMM for equations to each procedure for understanding. However, handouts are made available during exam.

  • Full size printouts included in the handouts of the CDOT forms that are presented in the slideshow. Comment from Instructor: All forms are located at the end of chapters in the CDOT FMM, for viewing.

  • You rock!

  • Cindy does an excellent job of presenting the subject material which is also reflected by her years of relative experience.

  • Make it not be in south Denver. Ha ha.

  • Thank you, Cindy!

  • Very fair, great instructor and proctors.

  • Good class and great proctors. (Johnny Lam, Paul Wiggs, Mike Ellis and Todd Mayhew)

  • I appreciate the fact that I was notified if I passed or failed the same day.

  • Thank you Cindy!

  • Nice facility and great people.

  • Interactive presentation would be better. Comment from Instructor: Participants are always encouraged to make comments and ask questions at anytime during the presentations.

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