Failing to plan is planning to fail. In construction, it is essential to plan every step to follow the planned schedule and avoid overruns. Quality is the main parameter of the project management triangle, and hence planning to control quality with the best quality management systems is a must for project success.
Planning without action is futile, but action without planning is fatal. Follow this through till the end to be equipped with the basics of making an effective quality control plan.
What is quality control in construction?
There are two significant aspects of quality management. One is quality control, and the other is quality assurance. Although sounding similar, they have different meanings and are two diverse aspects of quality management.
Quality Control (QC) is the process of fulfilling the predefined quality standards or requirements. On the contrary, Quality Assurance (QA) focuses on providing confidence or assurance that the predefined quality standards and conditions are met. One needs to understand the difference between quality control and quality assurance.
What is a quality control plan in a construction project?
A construction quality control plan is a document that contains details on how to manage quality on a specific construction project. This is a bible for all the quality management-related aspects on a construction site.
This plan can either be prepared by the client or, like in most cases, is organized by the consultant or contractor
It contains all the quality standards, approval, inspection activities, etc.
Following are the contents of a quality plan for the construction project:
Project QC/QA Organization:
This section includes the responsibilities and authorities of the people involved in the QA/QC of the construction project. It defines the hierarchy of the organization.
It outlines the submittal schedule, process review, acceptance criteria, and storage standards.
Performance Monitoring Requirements:
This is an important segment that includes all the required standards to be fulfilled in the construction project.
Inspection And Verification Activities:
Inspection intervals, testing, quality audits, acceptance criteria, and compliances are the aspects that are covered under this section of inspection and verification activities.
This part of the quality plan contains detail regarding deficiency identification and control, non-conformance report (NCR), deficiency corrections, and preventive measures.
It involves the process of documenting quality-related works on a construction site. It covers daily record keeping, drawing records, inspection reports, and testing results.
This segment reads out the approvals or certifications required (if any) for the particular construction project.
This field changes includes the process for catering to Changes in construction processes or design plans and specifications and the authorities who can give these changes.
Best Resources for Construction Quality Control Plans
ISO 9000 standards of quality management is an excellent resource to look to when creating quality standards. Although this document is not explicitly meant for the construction sector, good references can be made, and similar information can be extracted for making a quality control plan for a construction project.There are also some prevalent IS codes in construction industry which are often reffered for quality standards.
Another resourceful reference is the series of quality control requirements by the United States Army Corps Engineers. It offers construction quality management training, and all the material is available online, which helps people to use these tools to create their quality control plans.
How to Write a Construction Quality Control Plan?
Drafting an efficient quality control plan is essential for the smooth progress of the construction project. Ensuring that everyone agrees and wholly understands this plan is very crucial for a quality manager of the project. After considering all the administrative and planning aspects of the project, the quality plan becomes easy to be articulated.
1. Organizational chart and documentation
Deciding who will do what the first step in the process of writing a QA/QC plan is. Assigning hierarchy to the team makes it clear and easy to trace all the activities. Parallel to the organogram, each teammate's resume and certification are to be documented to specify the qualification of the person involved.
2. Set the responsibilities
After assigning the positions in the department, it is essential to outline the responsibilities and authorities of the people involved. Preparation, approval, implementation, auditing, documenting, verifying, etc., are some general duties to be taken up by the quality team.
3. Defining work
Setting out the scope of work for the contractor and the consultants in terms of quality is another task that has to compile in the quality plan by a quality control manager. This can also include developing QA/Qc checklists for each work that the contractor has to execute.
4. Phases of inspection
This section of the quality plan highlights the different phases of inspection, which may include a quick meeting before the execution of particular works to revise the specifications and standard requirements, initial inspections, interim inspections, and testing, following inspections, and in case of deficiencies, a re-examination of corrected work.
5. Quality control testing and verifications
This section covers the testing, verification, submittals, tracking, and weekly logs. It includes administration of the testing and its results, testing schedule, documentation and records, non-conformances, procedures for submittals, and tracking of deficiencies along with the record of its rectification, in a construction project.
Building a construction quality control plan is essential in delivering products or services that meet customer expectations. And planning this quality control is even more critical to the project's success and building a solid reputation in the construction industry because quality always sets one apart. Quality control checklist are an essential criteria for making a quality management strategy. Always remember that quality is the best business plan.
To summarize the essence of the quality control plan in a single quote is to believe that, "An hour of planning can save you ten hours of re-making." Make time for a good strategy because half the war is won in the general's tent.
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Check out the other tools and techniques going hand-in-hand with a quality control plan in the blog: Quality management in construction—An Overview and make your project a huge success.