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GeoTek’s   commitment   to   its   employees,   clients,   and   internal   quality   control   is   the   development   of   seven   internal programs;   1)GeoTek   University,   2)Senior Technical   Professional   (STP),   3)Mentor   Program,   4)IAS,   5)Internal Audit   Program, 6)Quality   Control   Plan   and   6)Quality   Systems   Guidelines   Manual.   These   programs   assist   our   employees   with   their professional and technical growth while at the same time enhancing our quality control efforts. GeoTek   University   is   our   in   house,   modular   education   and   mentoring   program   designed   to   supplement   our   employees’ formal   education   with   ongoing   instruction.   Individuals   within   GeoTek,   who   have   an   expertise   in   a   particular   field,   develop curricula   which   is   then   submitted   to   GeoTek’s   Management   Committee   (consisting   of   principals   and   representatives   from each   office),   for   approval.   While   constantly   expanding   current   modules   they   currently   include:   project   management (financial,   leadership,   and   general   planning,   scheduling   and   controls),   risk   management,   insurance,   client   development professional   conduct   and   selected   technical   subjects.   Classes   are   offered   on   a   regular   basis   and   advancement   into positions of responsibility is contingent upon their successful completion. Our   Senior   Technical   Professional   (STP)   Certification   Program   requirements   are   for   technical   professional   employee candidates   who   have   obtained   the   applicable   experience   and   have   demonstrated   their   technical   skills   while   under   the direction   of   an   existing   STP   mentor. This   certification   program   is   at   the   core   of   our   quality   process.   Once   the   mentor   is satisfied   that   the   candidate   meets   the   requirements   of   the   STP   certification,   his   application   is   presented   to   the   Executive Vice   President   of   Engineering   and   Science   for   acceptance.   The   application   includes   several   examples   of   the   candidate’s work.   Once   a   candidate   is   accepted   ,   a   Review   Board   is   appointed   consisting   of   STP's,   including   those   with   expertise   in   the specific   discipline   in   which   the   candidate   is   requesting   certification. The   Board   first   reviews   the   candidate’s   work   and   the candidate   then   sits   before   the   board   in   a   formal   conference   where   he   or   she   is   required   to   defend   the   reasoning   and procedures   used   in   his   work   products. The   board   evaluates   if   the   candidate   is   to   be   certified   or   if   additional   experience   is required.   Upon   successfully   completing   the   review   board   process,   the   candidate   receives   certification   and   is   added   to   the company roster of Senior Technical Professionals. Mentor   Program. The   Mentor   Program   is   designed   to   take   a   recent   graduate   and   prepare   them   to   become   a   successful engineer or geologist. We do this in two ways; 1 . We   give   you   two   advisors   (a   mentor   and   a   Senior   Mentor)   to   help   guide   you   through   the   first   few   years   of your career. This gives you a resource for questions ad direct communication with the top people in our company. 2 . We   provide   you   experience   at   the   "ground   level"   in   as   many   of   the   areas   of   our   business   as   possible. This teaches you the fundamentals of our business and makes you a stronger technical person and a better future manager. The   intent   of   the   'ground   level'   experience   is   to   make   you   a   better   rounded   engineer/geologist   that   has   construction experience,   can   communicate   with   contractors,   has   a   working   knowledge   of   laboratory   testing,   and   can   manage   field technicians. The   top   people   in   this   company   have   all   had   several   years   of   testing   and   inspection   experience   prior   t   starting their   current   positions. These   people   have   indicated   that   this   experience   is   a   major   reason   they   have   been   so   successful   in their careers. Internal Audits   Program.   GeoTek   performs   internal   audits   approximately   once   per   year   at   each   of   our   office   locations. The audits   are   performed   by   GeoTek   Senior Technical   Professionals   from   other   branches. The   audits   include   review   of   report content,   loss   prevention   language,   review   of   proposals,   contracts,   and   invoices,   and   review   of   laboratory   procedures   and equipment. The   auditor   delineate   any   concerns   in   a   formal   audit   report   and   the   branch   is   required   to   respond   with   a   plan to   address   any   deficiencies. As   a   proactive   measure   to   provide   a   consistent   quality,   we   apply   our   Quality   Control   Plan   to all   projects. Whether   for   the   institutional,   commercial,   residential,   industrial,   or   government   sectors,   each   project   or   task order   within   a   project   is   assigned   a   Senior   Technical   Professional   (STP)   who   provides   senior   review   of   the   project   at designated   milestones,   which   allows   quality   to   be   built   throughout   each   project. This   process   starts   with   the   proposal   for the   project.   Our   professional   personnel   hold   certifications   and   licenses   in   various   state   and   with   local   agencies   to   perform work   in   the   specified   areas.   Our   internal   quality   processes   are   described   in   our   Quality   System   Guidelines   Manual. The manual   is   a   dynamic   document   and   is   audited   and   approved   by   the American Association   of   State   Highway Transportation Officials   (AASHTO, AMRL,   CCRL   and   IAS). The   objective   of   the   manual   is   to   furnish   readily   available   guidelines   to   enable GeoTek   personnel   to   provide   accurate   and   reliable   construction   materials   engineering,   testing,   and   inspection   services. This   system   is   designed   to   promote   meeting   this   objective   through   the   use   of   staff   that   is   properly   trained,   experienced, and   educated,   using   testing   equipment   that   meets   the   requirements   of   the   applicable   standards   and   that   is   properly calibrated,   and   performing   services   in   accordance   with   recognized   standards   and   materials   engineering   principles.   The following are key elements to our quality system: · Provide a narrative of the company’s history. · Identify the corporate and office organizational structure. · Describe the geographic area served by the office. · Provide staff titles and the corresponding responsibilities and authority. · Provide a chain of command to resolve issues of concern. · Describe diagnostic and preventive procedures and corrective actions. · Describe sampling and testing procedures. · Describe internal training methods and record keeping. · Define the system for individuals to verify their competency to perform certain tests. · Provide an inventory list of testing equipment and reference materials. · Describe equipment calibration frequencies. · Describe the review, approval, and signature process for test data and final reports. · Describe   test   sample   management   procedures   including   sample   shipping   and   handling,   logging,   labeling,   storage, retention, and disposal. · Outline procedures for resolving technical complaints and non-conforming work. · Provide guidelines for performing internal Quality System reviews. Our   senior   staff   members   visit   project   sites   on   a   regular   basis   to   monitor   inspector,   technician,   and   contract   performance and   to   maintain   communication   with   other   project   team   members.   In   the   event   of   sub-standard   test   or   inspection   results, the   contractor   will   be   verbally   notified   immediately.   If   the   sub-standard   work   is   not   corrected   when   the   contractor   is notified,   the   non-compliant   work   will   be   documented   and   the   necessary   project   team   members   will   be   informed   of   the issue   in   a   timely   manner. As   part   of   our   previously   discussed   Internal Audit   Program,   we   check   that   key   elements   of   our established   quality   system   procedures   are   being   followed   and   that   our   required   record-keeping   is   up-to-date.   Items   that are checked during the audit include the following: · Proficiency sample reports and responses. · Third party on-site inspection reports and responses. · Equipment Inventory List · Equipment calibration verification records. · Technician training and competency verification records. · Records   of   calibration   verification   of   equipment   and   materials   received   during   the   review   period,   including   new equipment, capping compound, concrete cylinder molds, etc. · Follow-up verification of deficiency corrections noted in previous reviews. By   executing   the   above   quality   control   programs,   GeoTek   feels   that   it   is   able   to   maintain   a   level   of   technical   competence that   meets   our   clients   needs   and   our   professional   standards.   By   doing   so,   we   believe   that   we   help   create   a   successful project,   while   protecting   the   interests   of   our   clients,   both   during   the   course   of   construction,   and   over   the   lifespan   of   the project.