What is NTPEP?
NTPEP stands for National Transportation Product Evaluation Program. NTPEP combines the professional and physical resources of the AASHTO member departments in order to evaluate materials, products, and devices of common interest for use in highway and bridge construction. The primary goal of the program is to provide cost-effective evaluations for the State DOTs by eliminating duplication of testing and auditing by States and duplication of effort by manufacturers that provide products for evaluation.
NTPEP provides 2 services:
- Product evaluation provides single-source testing of common products used by DOTs manufactured to AASHTO standards.
- Facility auditing provides quality management system reviews and on-site inspection of plants for products manufactured to AASHTO standards.
It assists states with their coordinated evaluations on a wide array of highway safety products, maintenance products, construction materials.
What are the benefits of NTPEP?
NTPEP pools resources to save States and manufacturers money and time. Data from product evaluation and plant auditing are available on DataMine.
NTPEP members contribute to work plans. Work Plans outline the standards a plant or manufacturer must meet in order to receive a NTPEP certificate of compliance.
NTPEP technical committees provide a platform for States and manufacturers to share expertise and voice concerns.
By partnering with others, the quality of products will be raised.
What is DataMine?
NTPEP DataMine 3.0 is the online repository of data and audit reports for all NTPEP services. This database provides the tools for performing queries that will assist you in analyzing and reporting on current and past NTPEP evaluations. The application allows NTPEP Testing Facilities and Auditors to enter real-time data online. Also, our industry partners and the NTPEP administration may review product information and preliminary reports online for timely reporting of all evaluations.
Explore information available in NTPEP DataMine regarding evaluated products, audited facilities, NTPEP events, and NTPEP DataMine Resources. You can also submit requests for product evaluation and facility audits.
What is APEL?
APEL was created in accordance with the code of federal regulations 23 CFR 635.411 (a)(2) as a web-based tool for AASHTO member departments to utilize and exchange information on the evaluation of innovative patented and/or proprietary products of common interest for use in transportation. APEL is managed under NTPEP.
There are four distinct components to the program for which the web module serves as a central repository:
1. AASHTO Product Evaluations*
Manufacturers may submit products for accelerated laboratory testing through APEL (no field component at this time). Products that do not currently have an evaluation protocol may be submitted for full development, cost analysis, and execution of an evaluation. The evaluation report is then posted and maintained on the site, available for state DOT product evaluators to review. AASHTO does not endorse, certify, or approve products; it provides unbiased data/reports.
2. DOT Product Evaluations*
State DOTs may post the results of laboratory and/or field evaluations they have conducted for innovative patented and/or proprietary products. Manufacturers that have undergone DOT evaluations may request that their DOT counterpart submit the DOT Evaluated Product Report.
3. State Proprietary Products
This encompasses state DOT certifications for patented and/or proprietary products (e.g. public interest findings, experimental, synchronization, best fit, other) posted to the APEL web database.
Per the Code of Federal Regulations:
A certification by the contracting agency, as provided in 23 CFR 635.411(a)(2), that a specified proprietary product is either:
- Necessary for synchronization with existing facilities; or
- Unique product for which there is no equally suitable alternative. Visit the FHWA web site for a list of 23 CFR 635.411 questions and answers:
- Provide additional guidance regarding the use of patented and proprietary products on Federal-aid projects under 23 CFR 635.411, and
- Clarify the applicability of 23 CFR 635.411 to both National Highway System (NHS) projects and non-NHS projects.
4. Links/State Resources
Links to state DOT approved product lists and/or procedures for new, patented and/or proprietary products (if available).
*The term “evaluation” refers to actual laboratory testing, not comparison of manufacturer stated product characteristics against state specifications.
What is the benefit of using APEL?
This program offers a substantial cost benefit to member departments, as well as to manufacturers of patented and proprietary transportation products, by allowing manufacturers to submit products online for evaluation through APEL. This prevents duplication of effort for all parties involved, as well as providing a central repository from which all state agencies may access evaluation results.
Additionally, for the member departments, the program allows agencies to customize and automate the workflow process for new product evaluations. Utilizing the online review of product submittals permits states to streamline the new product evaluation process, increasing efficiency, lowering evaluation costs through shared information, and potentially speeding the delivery of products for use in projects.
What is the APEL Management System?
The APEL management system is the web database/central repository for evaluation reports from the testing of innovative patented and/or proprietary engineered transportation products, conducted either through APEL or by state departments of transportation. Additionally, it contains state certifications and approved product lists for innovative patented and/or proprietary products.
It also serves as the online portal for manufacturers to submit applications for product evaluations.
May I contact the technical committee or the laboratory directly?
Please contact the liaison of the technical committee and/or technical committee leadership for all inquiries. You may find this information on the Membership page and using the drop-down menu to select the technical committee of your choice.
How do I join a technical committee?
Please contact the liaison of the technical committee you wish to join. You may find this information on the Membership page and using the drop-down menu to select the technical committee of your choice.
Evaluation/Audit Specific Questions
How are products submitted to be evaluated by NTPEP?
Visit the NTPEP DataMine website, http://data.ntpep.org. Click on the login button, which will take you to a separate page. If you are not registered for the site, click Register Now to set up an account on the site. You will then be able to submit a product to be evaluated when the submission cycle is open. To know when a submission cycle is open, click here.
How are facilities registered to be audited?
To have your facility participate in a NTPEP audit, you will need to submit an application on the NTPEP DataMine website. Visit the NTPEP DataMine website, http://data.ntpep.org. Click on the login button, which will take you to a separate page. If you are not registered for the site, click Register Now to set up an account on the site. You will then be able to submit an application for your facility to be audited when the submission cycle is open. To know when a submission cycle is open, click here.
Do I need to log in to view reports or certificates?
To view all audit documentation, including Audit Reports and Certificates, you do need to be logged into the NTPEP DataMine website, http://data.ntpep.org. Click on the login button, which will take you to a separate page. If you are not registered for the site, click Register Now to set up an account on the site. Once your account is approved, you will have access to this documentation.
What products are not applicable to NTPEP?
NTPEP evaluates a variety of products used in the transportation industry. To see what products NTPEP evaluates and audits for, please click here. Click on each of the Technical Committees to visit their website and view their work plan. Each work plan explains the type of product(s) evaluated under that work plan as well as what tests are conducted for that specific evaluation.
TC Specific Questions
How much is an evaluation/audit?
Please refer to the fee sheet of the Technical Committee your product is associated with. If you have any further questions, contact the liaison of the corresponding technical committee. You may find this information on the Membership page, and using the drop-down menu to select the technical committee of your choice.
When can products be submitted for evaluation? When can facilities be registered for an audit?
The submission and registration cycles vary by the technical committee, please refer to the Submit a Product page for details.
What tests are part of the product evaluation?
Please refer to the work plan of the Technical Committee your product is associated with. If you have any further questions, contact the liaison of the corresponding technical committee. You may find this information on the Membership page, and using the drop-down menu to select the technical committee of your choice.
What does an audit entail?
The requirements of each NTPEP Audit are included in the AASHTO Standard Practice for Qualification of Highway Product Manufacturers Through the use of NTPEP Audits, which is available here.