Construction Quality Assurance/Quality Control Blog
A construction inspection checklist (also known as an inspection form) is like a road map. Both are condensed, thumbnail sketches of the real world … incomplete but highly useful. A road map can’t show every trail, tree, hill and house … If it did, it wouldn’t be useful. They are memory aids and save brainpower. Inspection checklists forms are much the same.
There are lots of activities that quality managers need to be doing. But, near the top of the list are regularly scheduled construction site quality control reviews in the form of field walks. The reason you should do these QA/QC reviews is to perform an independent check-up on the quality of your constructed product.
Whether you’re dealing with difficult or simple nonconformances, your construction quality control plan should outline a systematic process to manage them. That way, you’ll consistently deliver quality results. And, your customers will have confidence that you tightly control specification deviations until you can find suitable resolutions.
In quality assurance circles, we don’t use the term nonconformance for all defects. Instead, we reserve the term for defects that you can’t quickly or cost effectively fix to meet your project’s quality standards.
A communication plan will help you organize how you will create, collect, and distribute quality control-related information to your construction project quality team. I see a lot of projects where this planning isn’t done ahead of time and everyone has to figure this out bit by bit as they go along. Quality communications are too important to be left to chance.
An Inspection Test Plan (ITP) is a commonly required document that you'll need to submit with your construction quality control plan. Whether you're working on a private sector or government contract, clients today all want to see your inspection test plan. They want to know exactly what inspections and tests you'll be forming to control quality on their project.
In addition to telling your client what inspections and tests you'll do to control quality, your ITP is also a checklist for you to log the results of your inspections and tests during the project.
Developed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the three phases of control are required for all military-related quality control plans and are the core of their Construction Quality Management Systems.
In fact, in addition to the USACE, the Navy Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC), the Air Force Civil Engineering Support Facility (AFCESA) and The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) have all adopted the quality control policies and procedures that make up the Three-Phase Control System.
So what are the three phases of control? As the owner of a construction company, you may already be performing them, but you'll need to explain how in your construction quality control plan.
You certainly don’t want to leave something out of your quality control plan that's needed or will get your plan rejected. On the other hand, you don’t want to add any unnecessary complexity either.