Proficiency Testing Schemes for Materials Testing on Rural Roads Course - University of Birmingham


2 locations available
Read more about this program on the institution's website

Program Description


Learn the value of Proficiency Testing Schemes (PTS) for soil and materials lab testing on rural roads and how to implement them.

Discover key management systems for materials testing in rural road development

On this course, you’ll discover the importance of Proficiency Testing Schemes (PTS) for ensuring all findings from rural road development tests conducted in a soil and materials testing laboratory meet national and international standards.

You’ll explore the people, data and maintenance management systems required to support the technical aspects of materials testing. Using case studies from Sub-Saharan Africa, you’ll examine the management and technical aspects of laboratories.

You’ll also learn more about the tests themselves as you discover what can go wrong and how to report results.

What topics will you cover?

  • Establishing and managing a Proficiency Testing Scheme.
  • An explanation of the different types of laboratory tests available to test the performance of the materials used to construct low volume rural roads.
  • Statistical methods used to assess the results of the laboratory tests.
  • Why there is a need for repeatability and reproducibility.
  • Case studies of the Proficiency Testing Scheme approach.

When would you like to start?

Most FutureLearn courses run multiple times. Every run of a course has a set start date but you can join it and work through it after it starts.

  • Available now

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to:

  • Explore research from the Research for Community Access Partnership (ReCap).
  • Reflect on the value of Proficiency Testing Schemes.
  • Model aspects of the Proficiency Testing Scheme (through case studies), for example; staff management; equipment maintenance; data collection and storage; or the technical aspects of testing materials in line with international standards.
  • Apply knowledge of laboratory processes to produce simple statistical analyses of laboratory test results and to interpret the results in order to draft a simple lab report.
  • Explain different types of statistical terminology and tests including confidence limits and intervals, mean, mode, standard deviation, z-scores, hypothesis testing, t-tests.

Who is the course for?

This course is designed for rural road practitioners and road agency employees in Sub Saharan Africa and South Asia.

It will be particularly useful for material technicians and managers in road agencies who are responsible for laboratory testing and proficiency testing schemes.

It is also appropriate for engineering students and researchers studying rural road development and materials testing in emerging and developing countries.

Who will you learn with?

Gurmel Ghataora

I am a senior lecturer in the Department of Civil Engineering at the University of Birmingham. My main area of research interest is the materials used in the construction and maintenance of low-cost roads.

Michael Burrow

I am a Senior Lecturer within the School of Engineering at the University of Birmingham. I specialise in researching and teaching road asset management, with a focus on pro-poor development.

Who developed the course?

University of Birmingham

The University of Birmingham is a public research university, consistently listed as a leading UK university and ranked among the top 100 in the world.

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  • Access to this course for 5 weeks

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  • Access to this course for as long as it’s on FutureLearn
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Last updated Oct 2020

About the School

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Learn 100% online with world-class universities and industry experts. Develop your career, learn a new skill, or pursue your hobbies with flexible online courses. Read less
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